Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Right to Vote

Good thing I served in the IDF. Otherwise, according to a new bill proposed by Labor MK Eitan Cabel, I could lose the right to vote and my driver's license. Other potential penalties would be for me to be denied the right to study medicine or psychology.

Since I did indeed serve in the IDF and happen to be a member of the Labor Party, even if the bill passes I'll have the pleasure of voting against Mr. Cabel next time he runs for a place on the party's Knesset list. This is an extremely undemocratic bill, and I am ashamed it was authored by one of my party's representatives.

In Israel, every adult citizen has the right to vote. Unlike the United States, even felons are not denied the vote. Murderers, rapists, traitors and spies can vote from prison if they are Israelis. So Nahoum Manbar, who is in prison for selling weapons to Iran, and Yigal Amir, who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, will be able to vote, but people who did not devote two or three years of their lives to the state will be denied a voice?

I do think that people who do not serve in the military or any national civilian service without a good reason should be punished, but the punishment needs to be proportionate. It needs to last a limited time period, not their entire lives.

Civilian life in Israel should not be determined by military service (or even non-military national service). A person's life should not be destroyed only because he refuses to serve the state. Somebody needs to remind Eitan Cabel that the state exists for its citizens and not the citizens for the state.

No comments:

Post a Comment