Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why We Don't Have An Anglo MK...

Ever wonder why of all the immigrant groups to Israel, only the Anglo one hasn't got any representation in the Knesset?

This week's Makor Rishon (9.11.12) (Not online) had a whole two page article on the subject. Its basic conclusion can be summed up in two points:

  • English Olim tend to integrate into Israeli society, and hence vote like "normal" Israelis.
  • English Olim tend to be well off and don't need any special lobbying. 
Both points are reasonable, though they are not really two separate points. Anglo olim are on average better off than the average - and hence do not have a problem assimilating.

 Makor Rishon estimates that there are between 100-300 thousand Anglos in Israel - or roughly enough for 10 MKs. Of the established parties, only Yisrael Beytenu (ישראל ביתנו) has an ongoing Anglo campaign, as well as a long running anglo candidate, who never quite manages to make it into the knesset.

In the upcoming elections several parties are trying to woo the Anglo vote. Yesh Atid has Dov Lipman, who made his name campaigning against the Haredi wackos in Ramat Beit Shemesh. I can guess that he is a bigger celebrity in Ramat Beit Shemesh than in the rest of the country where he is largely unknown.

 Habait Hayehudi is also having a bit of an Anglo renaissance, with - Jeremy Gimpel - a young Anglo candidate in its primaries. Gimpel appears to be slightly over estimating his own appeal. In the Makor Rishon article he is quoted as stating that 95% of Anglos know him, and that he is as famous in the Anglo community as Yair Lapid is in Israel. I happen to know who Jeremy is,  but I highly doubt that he is anywhere near as well known as he seems to believe.

Despite the raised profile of Anglos in the election, I've yet to hear of any specific Anglo concerns that the parties, or their anglo representatives are raising. I'm eager to hear from my readers what they would like their Anglo representatives should be doing on their behalf... 

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