Israel Up Close

By Lori Weinstein, JWI Executive Director

By Dolev (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) ], via Wikimedia Commons

From the inauguration in America to the election in Israel – optimism abounds. Monday’s inauguration ceremonies and speeches reminded all Americans of the ties that bind us together; an unfailing belief in democracy and the promise that inspired leadership brings our nation.

From Monday to Tuesday: I arrived in Israel on election day to witness yet again, the power of the democratic process to inspire optimism and promote change. Israelis went to the polls on Tuesday and voted to move away from the far right and to strengthen its political center – the results of the election have surprised everyone that I have spoken to. Excitement and cautious optimism are present everywhere.

In addition to the strong showing of Yair Lapid and the Yesh Atid party, Israelis elected more women to the parliament than ever before. 26 women will join the 19th Knesset – in total women will comprise nearly 22% of this Knesset. No doubt that women will continue to promote legislation to advance women’s rights in Israel. Coalition building is the next step for Netanyahu’s party but we hope that this election was a game-changer.

Optimism transformed into opportunity opens new doors for both Israel and the United States.

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