Israeli election coverage from YouTube and Channel 2.

Here’s something new and different: Israeli television channel ערוץ 2 and YouTube seem to have teamed up to bring us (Hebrew) coverage of the 2009 Knesset elections campaigns.

The campaigns have begun, although they’re obviously not as exciting or inspiring as the American ones this past year. Fair enough. But it is interesting that the major parties and news outlets are trying to take pages right out of the elections handbooks of the American elections culture:

  • Shas is using Twitter (and from what I’ve heard, annoyingly so) and has adopted Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan.
  • Ehud Barak of the (dying) Labor party accepted an invitation to participate in an Eretz Nehederet skit last night.
  • Bibi of Likud apparently carbon copied Obama’s website style for his own website.
  • I’ve repeatedly seen plays on the phrase “Yes we can,” in headlines, blog posts and websites.
  • Eretz Nehederet is, of course, having fun with all the jokes.

Not sure where Kadima is in all this. Maybe they’re feeling the heat and thinking of a controversial right-hand (wo)man pick.

Back to the new YouTube-Channel 2 page: It’s kinda cool to see all the comments and users involved this way, via the internet. Of course, everything comes to Israel after it goes through the States first, but maybe we can hope that some of the more stupid elections aspects will not follow.

However, poor candidate choice apparently always will.

A White House of thunder and lightning.

I’m sure someone already realized this and mentioned it… but…

I learned today that with Barack Obama in the White House, and Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, the Americans will be led by… thunder (רעם – Rahm) and lightning (ברק – Barack).

Hmm.

Prime Minister Olmert's 'big' news.

Just watched Prime Minister Olmert’s impromtu press release (yes, he is still the prime minister).

Nothing new, really. He’ll quit once the new Kadima leader is voted for and announced. He won’t run, but who of us thought he was going to?

I will say this: His speech was classily done. The Israeli media has butchered him, and he’s killed his own reputation, but he is human and there was remorse in his voice. There was also anger and frustration; it can’t be easy to be a world leader hated by your own people.

Right, President Bush?

Tonight's rally for the release of Gilad Shalit.

Amidst the cries for Olmert to quit, be embarrassed and work harder towards the release of the kidnapped soldiers, there was plenty of emotion to go round.

Of course, the major focal point of sentiment came from Noam Shalit’s short but necessary speech to open the rally outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

It’s an absolute shame when fathers have to become politicians. It’s everything wrong.

Israeli FAIL!

If you hang out on teh interwebs at all, you might know the FAIL! and you might know the FAIL! blog. Israel recently made it with the following photo:

Israeli police FAIL!

There are about 652907628569874 things I’d put in an Israel FAIL! photo before a policeman in a simulation, like Olmert’s political career, the Lebanon war, people who voted for Olmert, Haredi Community leaders, and also Olmert’s political career.

But that’s just me.

The state of Israel in 5758.

This is the time of year when the State of Israel has a chance to really look deep into the heart of herself and understand what condition she’s in. It’s the post-Pessach triangle of introspection: yesterday was Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and next week are Yom HaZicaron (Memorial Day) and Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day).

When I was younger, and full of the enthusiasm and energy of Herzl’s Zionism, this triangle was one of my favorite times of the year. Yom HaShoah was the day to remember why we need a state; Yom HaZicaron was the day to remember how we’ve managed to defend the state; Yom Haatzmaut was the day to celebrate how we will continue to flourish in this state.

That was, of course, before I lived in Israel.

The state of the Jewish State is bleak. Actually, it’s quite depressing. I’m tired of hearing all those wonderful accomplishments and inventions done by Israelis; It’s not moving me anymore to see pictures of young European Jews building the kibbutzim. Those are still wonderful things, to be sure. And I do get still get teary-eyed when I sing the words to Hatikvah. But pardon me if I think there are other things we need to go back to focusing on.

On Yom HaShoah I read that Holocaust survivors’ situation is worsening. I wonder why the elderly who starved under German torture are starving under the Israeli government? How are we going to continue keeping our kids’ interested in this piece of Jewish history when we can be so nonchalant towards our grandparents, who are all nearly dead? How are we going to survive ourselves?

On Yom HaZicaron I wonder what our 18-year-old soldiers are really getting killed for. Do the sirens move Ehud Omert? When he is standing with his arms behind his back, eyes low, is he thinking about the soldiers ‘ blood or border security? Is he thinking about how embarrassing it is for us to have him as a prime minister? What is the long-term plan here? How are we going to manage to stay here in Israel? Who will fight our wars in the next 20 years?

And, finally, Yom Haatzmaut this year: turning 60. I’m having a hard time understanding why this number is worth going into debt, pouring millions and millions of shekels into frivolous parties instead of working on social programs in the State’s honor to show off the good soul of the Jewish State. I’m wondering why the government is busy making sure that no one uses the Israel 60th birthday logo without permission instead of worrying over the fact that most non-immigrant Israelis I speak to are completely disenchanted with Independence Day this year. Why celebrate a lie? Why celebrate debt?

Why celebrate the state of the State of Israel this year?