Every day I go to work here in Start-Up Nation, as do a number of my Israeli friends. We each work hard at building a better high-tech Mousetrap 2.0™, and when we meet for lunch on occasion, we often adjourn to one of the restaurants (or falafel, sabich, or hummus joints – we’re not so fancy) near our respective Tel-Aviv offices.
While we sometimes discuss bidness, the mealtime conversation often turns to other topics, including, but not limited to, Israeli politics. During said political discussions, I am often the only person at the table who would not describe him or herself as a “smolani” (left-winger). On some days I fight the good fight, while on others, I just sit back and soak up the high-minded, well-intentioned idiocy.
Note: The people quoted (anonymously) in this series are friends whom I genuinely like and respect. I just couldn’t disagree more with them politically. Our discussions can get spirited at times, but they are always respectful, and we remain friends when we part ways at the end of every meal.
And with that, off we go on the maiden voyage of Out To Lunch: Deep Thoughts From My Left-Wing Friends*. Join me, won’t you?
* In related news, Zionist Shark has left-wing friends.
Earlier today, at some point between the appetizer and main course of our “iskit” (business lunch), the talk turned to politics, and Friend A asked Friend B which political party he voted for back in January.
“Meretz,” he said proudly, at which point he noted that I was not a left-winger like the rest of them. “He [referring to me -Zionist Shark] is more patriotic than all of us put together. He’s a real Zionist.” [you damn skippy -Zionist Shark]
That out of the way, Friend C then chimed in, saying that he also voted for Meretz. “Barur!” (clearly / obviously), said he, before continuing, “…though you can’t really say that Meretz is a left-wing party. It’s really more centrist.”
So yeeeaaah, that happened. He actually said that Meretz is not a left-wing political party.
At that moment, so many images ran through my head. So many ways to illustrate what a delusional, self-unaware, circle-jerky, echo-chamber-y comment that was. Decisions, decisions.
But then I realized that the best way to deal with such a ludicrous statement is to hoist Meretz with its own petard. Now if only there were some way to see how Meretz describes itself to the Israeli electorate…
…and whattaya know? Lookee lookee! A collection of official Meretz campaign posters! gather ’round everyone and let’s examine them closely, shall we? (actually, I was going to play a little game and ask if the non-Hebrew speakers among you could figure out which Hebrew word in the images below means “left”, but since it’s late here, and I’m in a charitable mood, I just put a nice red frame around them for you. Don’t thank me, I’m a giver).
For the coup de grâce, lest you think the above are all obsolete posters from that bygone era before Meretz was oh so middle-of-the-road, this is what Meretz’s website looks like as of about 5 minutes before I clicked the “Post” button.
Welp, my work is done here, at least for today. I wonder what’s for lunch next time? Stay tuned.