The Collective Irrationality of Voting in Israel

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A boy, dressed in a Superman costume, escorts his mother behind a voting booth at a polling station in Tel Aviv, March 17, 2015.Credit: Reuters

There are decisive statements which testify that the person who utters them is exactly the opposite of what he (or she) says about himself.

For example, when someone declares “I am not a racist” – that is a sign that he is indeed a racist. Especially since, after his “I am not a racist” statement always comes the unavoidable “but” – as in, “but they (any they will do) are really (and this is scientifically proven) smelly, primitive, stupid and violent, and in fact all of the above is correct.” And that, of course, just proves how racist the speaker is.

The same thing is true for anyone who says “I am a rational person,” and in so doing arrogantly puts himself above anyone who is not like him (see above) for not being rational like him (see above). In doing this, such a person of course proves how much he himself is patently irrational, inasmuch as he does not even recognize the existence of the irrational and the unconscious in the soul, thoughts or actions of every individual, including himself.

The election campaign also pretends to be a campaign of rational decision making, in which citizens are meant to make a choice, rationally of course, between a wide range of parties, each of them having a broad range of rational proposals and rational leaders born of rational people, who are well disposed to deal with the question of running the country in the future.

So, it would seem, every citizen must go to the polls and ask himself: “What is it that I want to achieve with my vote, is it possible, and how must I vote to achieve it?” But 99.2 percent of us (a statistical error of up to a quarter of a percent is possible here) do not even answer this question at all. Instead, people vote based on memories, insults, feelings, embarrassment, hard-boiled eggs, justice, beets and the rest of the vegetables that are not even relevant to this issue.

Because casting a ballot in Israel is not rational, not for even a second: It is a tribal vote, tribal and nothing else.

Following are the tribes of Israel, at least in terms of this election: the tribe of the Ashkenazim and the Ashkenazi-like Mizrahim, whose entire experience is “we built, we did and therefore it is ours"; the tribe of even purer Ashkenazim and even poets, and also those racists and other folks lording it over the ultra-religious and the so-called Zoabis; an additional tribe of young but not Ashkenazi people, who want things to be good by making a change that will actually not change anything; and the tribe of solidarity of the screwed-over, Mizrahim and Russians, who will not let anyone else decide who is the Ashkenazi who will rule over them and screw them.

In addition, there is the tribe of settler Ashkenazi zealots, Gog and Magogs and demagogues, who also are masquerading as innocents; two tribes of religious Mizrahi men, one holding onto the right corner of the tzitzit (ritual fringes) of a dead rabbi and another grabbing onto an even further right corner of the same dead rabbi’s tzitzit; another tribe of Jewish men holding tzitzit, but Ashkenazim this time; a tribe of thugs offering to solve every problem with the blow of an axe or an atomic bomb; and one Arab tribe.

And when the crucial day comes we will all stand as one (except for you, of course) under the flag of our tribe and vote for it. And this is not just an election, it is a biennial event wherein every man and woman is counted on behalf of their tribe.

And of course there is no question here of right or left, since in Israel there is only right, and so the only question is which right-wing government will we have: half psychotic or completely psychotic.

So, kudos to the victors. In any case the losers are unfortunate, and they are more or less all of us.

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