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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Voting in The Likud Primaries, A Day in My Life...

Tuesday night, after a very full day, which included Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, a reunion lunch with college friends, a dentist appointment, lunch at a son's home after some quality time with his baby, I finally made it to Binyanei Hauma to vote in the Likud Primaries.

Now, I must admit that I've probably never voted for the Likud in Knesset Elections, but I am a member of the party. That does sound strange, but if you understand the Israeli political system and history, there's a logical reason or two. This post isn't the place for an explanation, but if you're curious, please ask.

In theory I could have voted in Shiloh, where we had a polling station. Davka, in Shiloh voting would have been rather simple. That is if I had been home when it was open. I had carefully checked and calculated my day's plans and logistics and realized that I just didn't have time between the poll's opening and the bus to Jerusalem. Besides that, I sleep in Jerusalem Tuesday nights in order to get to Matan early Wednesday for my chevruta, group learning. 

By the time I was on my way to the #15 bus to Binyanei Hauma, I was exhausted and wondering how long it would all take. So far, none of my traveling had gone as simply as I had expected/planned.

After dovening at the Tel, I had waited at the bus stop to Jerusalem, and the efo bus app showed no sign of the expected bus. Finally, I got tremp after tremp to Jerusalem with enough time to drop off my bag, so I wouldn't have to schlep it around all day.

I ended up waiting a long time for the first leg of my trip to the dentist, because one of the scheduled buses never showed. And then I was shocked to discover that the route had changed. I would have saved time even walking from Cinema City to the String/Chords Bridge to catch the second bus. That's because there was a change in the route of the #15, which I was unaware of. The area around the central bus station was so awful, and the red lights so badly timed, that at least a half hour was added to my travel time. I had to call the dentist office to say that for the very first time, I'd be late instead of early.

Amazingly, the trip to  vote went very smoothly, but then I was stumped trying to find the underground passage to cross the street and then the entrance to Binyanei Hauma. There's so much construction, and it was dark where I needed light.

I was too stressed and rushed to photograph the outside of Binyanei Hauma when trying to enter. The whole area was full of tables and loudspeakers. Papers were all over the floor, and I was constantly accosted by campaign workers handing out promotional literature. I also recognized some well-known Likud ministers and MKs, who were trying last minute personal campaigning. I ignored them. With hundreds of candidates for a few slots, competition and bedlam were rampant. We could only vote for twelve 12, no more no less.

There were mobs of men and teens blocking the way, but finally I made my way in. And when I got to the area where it was forbidden to campaign, what a contrast. There was such silence and space.

All around the room there were tables staffed by two mostly young and very polite and helpful clerks who explained what to do. I was surprised and happy that the Likud gave up on high-tech voting, which it had tried a few times in the past.

Only after I had exited the building could I take the time to photograph the carnival scene. No doubt that the cleanup has been a challenge.

If you're interested in the results, read this and this.

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