ISRAEL

Israeli election: "a crucial crossroads"

David Bogner, a seasoned blogger, lives in the Israeli settlement Gush Etzion and votes for Likud. Read more...

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Israelis head to the polls next Tuesday to elect the country's next prime minister. We ask a former Kibbutz resident and Labour supporter, an Israeli Palestinian who backs an Arab party, a right-wing settler, a left-wing Jerusalemite and a Green party supporter and researcher, what's on their mind as they prepare to vote.

You can read all of the testimonies here.

David Bogner, a seasoned blogger, lives in the Israeli settlement Gush Etzion and votes for Likud.

 

What is the single most important issue in the election for you personally, and which party will best handle that issue?

Without a doubt security, but I'm not sure who I'll vote for, probably Likud, but [ultra-nationalist] National Union is also high on my list. Both have stated policies of not making unilateral concessions and maintaining Israeli deterrence."

 

Will Israel's economic situation influence your vote?

In a very minor way. When Bibi Netanyahu was finance minister in the Sharon government, he instituted a lot of sweeping reforms which strengthened Israel's economy and currency. These reforms are the only reason why today our economy might be able to weather the financial storms." 

 

Do you think the Gaza offensive has improved or worsened the security of Israel? Do you feel physically threatened where you live?

I think the Gaza operation had a slight positive effect on security but I do not think it was worth the cost. I believe it was done to boost Kadima and Labour's poll ratings. I feel threatened only in so far as I live in a Jewish town close to Arab populations. Shooting incidents, rock throwing, attempts by Arab terrorists are daily occurrences here.

 

Worldwide coverage focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What is the one thing you would like outsiders to know about Israel?

Israel is a world leader in economy, in education, in patents and science. It produces more scientific advances per capita than any other nation in the world. I wish the world would see that, not only that one or more of its neighbours wants to destroy it.

 

Choose a photo that either represents the upcoming Israeli election or that struck you during the campaign.

I see the Israeli election as a crucial crossroads... a fork where the electorate will either choose to carry on down the path of unilateral compromise and appeasement, or a new path where we admit to ourselves that while peace may be an admirable goal, it is not a commodity that can be purchased if only one is willing to pay a high enough price."