´Allowing Israelis to vote abroad anti-democratic´ (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV 04/01/12)
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Allowing Israelis abroad to vote is cynical and anti-democratic, a
group of intellectuals wrote in a letter sent on Sunday to President
Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset speaker
Reuven Rivlin, Supreme Court President Asher Dan Grunis and Knesset
The letter was written in protest of a new version of the "Omri
Casspi Bill" that cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser is considering, which
would allow Israelis to vote in their first four years abroad, after
registering at an Israeli consulate and declaring that they intend to
return to Israel.
Authors Amos Oz and Yoram Kaniuk, Jerusalem Cinematheque founder Lia
Van Leer, Professor Sammy Smooha, Professor Ze´ev Sternhal, former
ministers Shulamit Aloni and Yair Saban and others signed the letter.
According to the letter, the Netanyahu government is reaching "new
heights of anti-democratic cynicism" with the new bill, which
will "trample Israeli democracy" and is meant to quell any opposition.
In addition, the letter claims that such a bill would encourage Jews
abroad to get Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, even if
they do not really intend to live in Israel.
The signatories expressed concern that voters from abroad will decide
whether or not a prime minister that will attack nuclear sites in
Iran is chosen, even though they will not suffer the consequences.
"An organized group of Jews from the Diaspora will determine from
afar how Israelis will live their lives," the letter
reads. "Netanyahu is already encouraging such an influence through
money, propaganda and free newspapers, and apparently as the prime
minister of AIPAC."
"This idea is the end of Zionism," according to the petition.
Similar legislation was discussed by the government last year, and
was nicknamed the Omri Casspi Bill for the first Israeli to play in
The coalition agreement between the Likud and Israel Beiteinu
requires that absentee voting to be put to a vote. However, Shas has
threatened to take advantage of its coalition agreement with the
Likud, which gives every party in the coalition a veto on bills that
would change the electoral system. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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