Religion Magazine

Orly Levi Abuksis Won't Sit with the Arab Party but Didnt Steal Your Vote

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
This evening MK Orly Levi Abuksis, currently a member of the unified list of parties Labor-Gesher-Meretz, upset a lot of people on the Left when she announced that she will not help Gantz form a government that includes reliance on the Joint Arab List.
People on the Left are upset, saying she has no right to do this, she is stealing their vote, this is not what they voted for her for, etc.
They have a right to be upset at her, just like every person has the right to be upset at any politician that lets him or her down - that does not live up to expectations, no matter how realistic those expectations were.
Orly Levi Abuksis won't sit with the Arab party but didnt steal your vote
That being said, Orly Levi Abuksis did not steal anyone's vote. Perhaps had she made a specific promise on a given issue and went back on that with no reasonable explanation, perhaps she could be accused of stealing a vote. No matter who you might have voted for, it is extremely unlikely that you agree with that politician 100% on every issue. Whenever that politician does something you do not particularly agree with, you might accuse the politician of stealing your vote. That is not how it works - at least not in the political system of Israel. Perhaps if the politician made a specific promise that he or she reneged on, or if the politician did the opposite of what was "pledged" in the party platform, without a reasonable explanation, then you might argue your vote was stolen. In this case, Abuksis never made a pledge to sit with the Arab parties. Her deciding not to is not stealing the votes of her voters, and it is definitely not stealing the votes of people who did not vote for her and just don't like her decision. As a matter of fact, no government in the history of Israel has brought the Arab parties into the governing coalition, so unless she promised otherwise, which she did not, it is fair to assume that her default was to continue not sitting with them. No matter what other Left or social policies she might have spoken about and whatever other promises she might have made, it is fair to assume that her default was not bringing the Arabs into government, just like it was everyone else's default.
I get the disappointment. I get the feeling that she could help Gantz get rid of Bibi, at least temporarily, and she is not taking advantage of the opportunity. And that is fair. Going so far as to say she is stealing your vote by not doing something she never promised to do and nobody else before has ever done it, that is not fair. She does not deserve to be kicked out of politics because of it, though maybe she does for other reasons - I do not know. On this specific issue, Abuksis is not being unreasonable.
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