A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Tale of Two Cities: The Party Vote in Jerusalem vs.Tel Aviv

Even a casual tourist surely notices the profound contrast between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the more one gets to know each city the sharper the contrast appears. The way folks dress on the beaches of Tel Aviv and the streets of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem are at opposite poles of just about everything. If someone approaches you on the street in Jerusalem there's a fair chance they're proselytizing (for which religion depends on the part of town); in at least certain parts of Tel Aviv (the hotel and nightclub districts for example), it's likelier they're offering some form of negotiable companionship for the evening. There are things I like about each city, although as a historian, Jerusalem to me is an irreplaceable monument while Tel Aviv is almost American (with a touch of a European capital) and barely over a century old in a region of ageless cities. So it's hardly surprising that the two cities don't vote alike.

Shmuel Rosner at jewishjournal.com has a post called "Israel is a Moderate Country: 20 Short Notes on the Election." It's yet another look through infographics and pie charts at the vote results, but his No. 16, a comparison of the top five parties by votes in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, makes the point of his brief conclusion: "These are not two different cities, these are two different universes." If you don't know the parties by name, three of the five in Jerusalem are religious parties and the fourth is secular rightist Likud; only Yesh Atid is nominally centrist; in Tel Aviv none are religious parties and all are center-left except Likud:

No comments: