Tuesday 23 March is the day Israelis front up to the ballot box for the fourth attempt in recent times to elect a stable, coherent coalition… writes Michael Kuttner.

Whether this time around there will be good news or more of the same ego tripping will be revealed on the days after the results are officially declared.

Election Day in Israel is a public holiday and it will be interesting to see whether voters decide to troop to the polling booths or prefer instead, weather permitting, to escape to the beach and picnic nature reserves.


Although this has been already reported on the video gives you a much clearer and dramatic understanding of the drama surrounding the recent dramatic finds in the Judean desert.



The Shalva Band, accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, performed a unique virtual duet of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” — featuring Hebrew and Arabic lyrics — with singer Tareq Al Menhali from the United Arab Emirates. The celebration was held under the theme “Building Bridges to the Future.”

The guest speaker was Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the United States. “It is an honor to participate in the American Friends of Shalva’s 31st anniversary event,” he said.

“The United Arab Emirates shares Shalva’s unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities. In the UAE, those with intellectual disabilities or special needs are referred to as people of determination, in recognition of their achievements across different fields.

“The collaboration to create the special rendition of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ demonstrates how we must all continue to work together — regardless of nationality, religion or culture — to promote positive social change and foster more inclusive societies,” added Al Otaiba.

The Shalva Band includes eight musicians with disabilities, and gained much of its fame when it was in contention for possibly representing Israel in the Eurovision song contest. The band withdrew from the contest due to worries that its members would have to violate the Sabbath as part of the contest.


Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel. 

[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]