Up, Up and Away (A Look Back at Elections)
You may or may not have guessed that my particular taste for politics would be left of center...and you may or may not have guessed that the results of the election in Israel on March 17 were disheartening for me.
It's not because Netanyahu won. Anyone in politics has probably made deals and done dastardly deeds in the name of his/her "cause." It's not because the government will (again) be very right of center for the next few years, and will continue moving into the West Bank (and moving the local Palestinian communities out).
It's because of hate and fear. This election in Israel had more clear disdain, discrimination, hate and fear mongering than any I've witnessed (in a country with a language I understand -- don't ask me what goes on in France or South Sudan). And THAT is depressing.
So on March 18, all day, I was coping with the outcome of the elections and pushing through, trying not to be depressed until the evening.
I had made plans to join a friend for a free concert at the YMCA in Jerusalem months ago. Even before we knew there would be elections, the concert had been set and preparations had been made. This concert was a celebration for peace, with the main singer Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary fame (60's protest music) being joined by local artists, mixed children's choirs and Mira Awad, local Palestinian singer and peace activist.
Peter, at the ripe old age he is (he didn't tell us exactly) inspired me. He told us stories of marching on Washington, DC and singing for the protesters. He was there with Martin Luther King, Jr. And on March 18, he sang for us and with the upcoming youngsters in the choirs. He pointed out to us that it took decades for the US to get to the point of being able to elect a President of color - but that discrimination still rears its ugly head there as well as here.
He rejected the notion that he had no claim here, as he is not an Israeli citizen. “I am a human being,” he said, which gives him the right to proclaim his opinion in peace and love. He supported the packed auditorium of peace activists, who he introduced: Women Wage Peace, USAID, Rabbis for Human Rights, and more.
So.... I started my day down, down, down, but I ended my day up, up and away in my beautiful balloon.
If you can't see video, click here to watch.
Thanks Peter. Thanks for reminding me.