Originally published at Tikkun Daily |
With Israel's election only weeks away, a rather remarkable online initiative has begun: Israelis are offering to give their votes to Palestinians occupied by Israel in the West Bank.
The idea behind this initiative is simple: Palestinians subjected to a military system of justice in the Occupied Territories, and wholly under Israel's control, have no democratic say in the process that binds them. And so Israelis, to protest the occupation and this undemocratic dynamic, are offering to give their vote to a Palestinian and cast a ballot as their matched counterpart in the West Bank desires.
The Facebook site housing this initiative, Real Democracy, already has countless offers from Israelis willing to give up their votes as well as matches with Palestinians, such as the following:
This initiative, while modest, is more than symbolic, as real votes will be cast in Israel's elections on January 22 as a result.
Will it skew the election's results? No, it won't. But this protest is striking a chord and experientially demonstrating how Israel's occupation and military dominance of the West Bank isn't just inhumane, but undemocratic as well.
Israel has a choice: give up the occupation and salvage those few remnants of a two-state solution which still exist or give Palestinians a vote in a bi-national, single state. For the status quo, in which Palestinians are controlled without any political rights, cannot continue.