It was November 8th and I was in an apartment belonging to an American friend residing in Tel-Aviv. We were watching the news for hours, changing the channels back and forth between CNN and Fox-News in a white night of politics and hopeful anticipation.
That night, me and my friends were surprised to learn that the unimaginable happened and that we were dead wrong. It was the night Trump was elected, and none of us had anticipated it. Clinton should have won the elections by a landslide, right? Right?
It wasn’t the first time we were wrong. Who could have guessed on the 23rd of June 2016 that the people of the United Kingdom would vote to leave the European Union? That despite all of the good that the Union has done in helping to promote peace in a continent that has known the most terrible wars that humanity has ever experienced, the United Kingdom would choose to leave the Union. Who would have guessed? Who would have believed? Not us.
And who would have guessed that back in 2015, the people of Israel would vote once again for Prime Minister Netanyahu? That the would choose him to lead Israel for four more years, after he had failed to promote peace? After he had failed to help the economy, after he divided our country and the people in it time after time? Who could have guessed!?
But maybe this is what it is all about? In all those cases, the elections in the US, the referendum in the UK and before that in the elections in Israel, the winning side won on a message of hatred and fear, a message against anyone who is different. In the US Trump promised to build a wall to keep immigrants out, in the UK Farage and Johnson spoke of stopping the waves of immigrants coming to the shores of the UK through Europe, and in Israel? Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke of Arabs coming by masses to the voting booths, while his minister of culture named immigrants a cancer in the nation.
I remember all of those nights when the unexpected happened, when my faith in humanity should have faltered, but you know what? On April 23rd, while looking at the French election results I see that people can say no to hatred, racism and fear, that people are not afraid, and that my faith in humanity is not misplaced.
Yes, this is not the end, we have another round of elections in France in a few weeks. This time, when the people will choose their representatives at the parliament I believe that once again they will say no to the National Front and to Le Pen and to her hatred. I want to believe that the people of French proved that Trump, Netanyahu and the Brexit are the exceptions and not the rule.
After that, all eyes will be on the United Kingdom and Germany, where the people will once again go to the polls for important elections in Europe. Once again they will face the choice between hatred and the belief in humanity. You know what? I believe in humanity, and I believe that the people of Germany and the people of the United Kingdom believe in it as well.
The world is not going somewhere terrible, it had just encountered a speed-bump, and everything is going to be okay.