about us

Waving the Flag

Most of our members have belonged to the Hashomer Hatzair Youth Movement and haven't changed their basic political outlook, which is social-democratic on the whole. While you may find a few whose ideas about Arabs do not coincide with the party line, most members of Reshafim are strong supporters of the Oslo Accord and the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, as the 1996 election results show: Shimon Peres received 98% of the votes cast at the kibbutz (a few non-members vote here as well, some known to be supporting right-wing parties.)

The Settlements of the Beit Shean Regional Councel and the Results of the 1996 Elections
Settlement % Votes for PM % Votes for Knesset
Name Affiliation Peres Netanyahoo Labour Likud Meretz NRP Shas Others
Beit Yosef Moshav Movement Moshav 17 83 11 30 - 8 37 5
Ein Hanatziv Hapoel Hamizrahi Kibbutz 26 74 11 10 - 73 - 6
Gesher Takam Kibbutz 93 7 83 3 8 - - 6
Hammadia Takam Kibbutz 86 14 75 11 7 - - 7
Kfar Ruppin Takam Kibbutz 92 8 76 5 13 - - 6
Maale Gilboa Hapoel Hamizrahi Kibbutz 34 66 9 5 - 58 - 18
Maoz Haim Takam Kibbutz 96 4 81 2 12 - - 5
Merav Hapoel Hamizrahi Kibbutz 6 94 - - - 82 - 8
Messilot Hashomer Hatzair Kibbutz 98 2 46 - 50 - - 5
Neve Ur Takam Kibbutz 97 3 75 2 16 - - 7
Neve Eitan Takam Kibbutz 97 3 80 4 11 - - 5
Nir David Hashomer Hatzair Kibbutz 98 2 34 - 60 - - 7
Rehov Moshav Movement Moshav 4 96 - 38 - 42 18 2
Reshafim Hashomer Hatzair Kibbutz 98 2 35 2 59 - - 4
Revaya Moshav Movement Moshav 6 94 4 59 - 17 17 7
Sde Eliahu Hapoel Hamizrahi Kibbutz 19 81 7 13 - 78 - 2
Sde Nahum Takam Kibbutz 96 4 79 6 8 - - 7
Sde Trumot Moshav Movement Moshav 1 99 - 62 - 27 9 2
Shluhot Hapoel Hamizrahi Kibbutz 23 77 8 10 - 72 - 10
Tel Teumim 98 2 53 - - 23 10 14
Tirat Tzvi Hapoel Hamizrahi Kibbutz 23 77 9 10 - 71 - 10
Yardena Moshav Movement Moshav 41 59 30 32 - 18 12 8


  • Peres: Labour Party candidate- left of centre, leading architect of the Oslo Agreement with the Palestinians
  • Netanyahoo: Likud candidate - right wing nationalist, basically opposed to the Oslo Agreement, promised to implement it if elected
  • Labour: social democratic party
  • Likud: populist nationalist party
  • Meretz: left of centre, mostly socialist in European parlance, liberal to Americans
  • NRP: National Religious Party: The party of the Hamizrahi Movement, religious, strongly nationalistic
  • Shas: ultra orthodox religious party with strong populist appeal to the descendents of Eastern Jews (i.e. from Arab countries)

The results of the 1999 elections

For Primeminister
Barak268 (98%)Labour Party - Nationwide 56%
Netanyahu5 (2%)Likud - Nationwide 44%
The Knesset
Meretz173 (64%)Socialist Party (10 seats)
Labour Party72(26%)Social Democratic Party (26 seats)
Hadash3(1%)Communist Party, Mostly Arabic (3 seats)
Third Way3(1%)For the annexation of the Golan (0 seats)
Israel b'alyah1(%)Immigrants, mostly Russians (6 seats)
Centre Party7(2%)As the name says (6 seats)
Pnina Rosenbloom1(%)An Ego trip (0 seats)
Shinui5(2%)Anti religious, in favour of Oslo (6 seats)
Pensioners1(%) (0 seats)
Green Leaf8(3%)For legalisation of Marijuana (0 seats)
Likud2(1%)Nationalist right wing (19 seats)
National Union3(1%)Extreme right (4 seats)

Feeling much better now, thank you very much


2001: Barak vs Sharon

Alas, it didn't work out. Hopes were too high. Barak made too many mistakes and Arafat was a major pain in the proverbial. But let's forget the national débâcle and concentrate on our little corner of paradise.

Barak    239    92%
Not valid        41½%


So, despite the general disappointment with Barak as a PM our kibbutz has remained true to its belief in the necessity of peace. But even among us there were more people than ever voting for a hawkish ideology, and less voters than ever turned up.
The attitude of kibbutzniks towards Sharon is much more ambivalent than towards any other right-winger. Firstly, he's one of 'ours'. He belongs to what is so quaintly called 'the working settlement' movement. In the army he generally led troops who came to a large extent from moshavim and kibbutzim. And secondly, as a minister he was consistently in favour of settlements, be they legal kibbutzim and moshavim inside Israel proper or dubious west bank settlements. He was a friend in right-wing governments openly hostile towards the kibbutzim.
Still, his vision is not ours. Let's hope he will justify his election slogan "Only Sharon will make peace", which caused us quite a few moments of mirth.

The 2003 elections

OK, so what if Sharon did not bring peace. Soon we'll have elections once a fortnight anyway - and not much to rejoice about. Arik Sharon, after a volte-face on practically any issue of importance (a Palestinian state, a fence between the occupied territories and Israel), a dismal economic performance and financial scandals has managed to to come out on top. One may well wonder how inept a right-wing government has to be in order to be voted out of power.
Even among us more and more people are giving up on left-wing socialist ideals and for the first time Labour has surpassed Meretz:
Labour Party110"Social-democratic", still considered the party of the establishment
Meretz100Left-wing social-democratic
Shinui20Touted as a party of the centre, Shinui is the most right-wing party economically and socially
Likud12Right of centre with extremist loony fringes
Ale Yarok10Supports legalisation of hashish and not much else
National Block4Led by Liebermann, who proposes reconquest of all the occupied territories and other hard line policies. As close to fascism as you can be without crossing the line
One People4The party of the Histadrut leader Amir Peretz
Israel Aheret2 
Communists1More Arab nationalist than communist
Love of Israel1 
Green Party1 

March 2006

Ok, another round, not too bad after three years. Arik Sharon, a well-known opportunist, has caused havoc in the political scene. Even we felt the winds of change blowing:
Meretz 111 41.5%Still going strong in the kibbutzim, otherwise losing ground. It may be time to merge with Labour
Labour Party8431.4%See above
Communists10.3%See above
Old age pensioners134.8%Somewhat of a surprise
National Union31.1%To the right of Libermann
Shinui00%Shinui means Change. Before the election a slogan was proposed: "Tomorrow's forecast: without Change".
Kadima3613.4%Sharon's ad-hoc party
Tzomet10.3%I didn't even know they still existed
Israel Beitenu10.3%Libermann's right-wing Russian party
Likud10.3%Sic transit gloria mundi. Thank god!
Tafnit10.3%Uzi Dayan's ego trip
Ale Yarok93.3%Still hoping to get joints legalized
Green Party31.1% 
Shas10.3%Ultra-orthodox right wing, with left-wing social agenda. Their leader promised his voters paradise.

February 2009

Chronicling Israeli elections is a miserable business, if your heart is on the left side, as it is by nature. Reshafim is not immune to the the right-wing pandemic, spreading all over the globe. Here goes:
Meretz 97 36 %As the oldtimers die, support for the Party wanes.
Labour Party         7729 %Ehud is still quite popular here
Kadima  67  25 %Livni, the great hope of the centre
Israel Beitenu52 %Since the last elections Libermann has added a few right-wing wrinkles to his arsenal of hatred.
Likud93 %Bibi's back! Though not here.
Others124 %The Israeli political disease: splinter parties.

January 2013

Rather a long time has passed since the last elections, and the country as a whole has moved a bit to the centre, not a bad idea given the performance of the right. It won't be enough for any real changes, but who knows.

Our little piece of paradise is also slowly moving towards the centre, politically speaking. 366 voters are registered here, 281 of whom (76.78%) have fulfilled their civic duty. Here you are:
Labour Party 11942.5%Labour still gaining at the expense of Meretz
Meretz73 26.07%Countrywise Meretz is a bit up, among us it's still losing ground
New Land72.5%A new left wing party
There is a Future4114.64%Yair Lapid's ego trip. Cf. his father's attempts with Shinui
The Movement93.71%Tzippi Livni going it almost alone
Green Leaf72.6%The party of the Hashishnikim
Kadima51.79%Sic transit .... we've seen the like before
Country Builders' Generation1 Pensioners' party
Likud62.14%Bibi and Libermann together
The Jewish Home51.79%Bennet has given a boost to these right wing loonies

March 2015

Of course you know that ancient children's pasttime of tying a wallet to a string, placing it on the sidewalk and hiding oneself nearby holding the other end of the string. It was a bit like that, this time around. It looked as if the outcome might be different.
A yank at the string and it wasn't. And in the spirit of O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, The courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other let's concentrate on what's our own doing:
The Zionist Camp (Labour Party+The Movement)  176
Meretz 65
There is a Future24
Green Leaf13
Kulanu 10
The Jewish Home 9
Likud 9
Israel, our Home 4
Managed to mess up stuffing a sheet of paper into an envelope   1



March 2015
January 2013
February 2009
March 2006
January 2003
Summer 2001
July 1999

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