Becoming an Israeli, voting and the crab that got away.

So, about 7 or 8 months ago we decided to move to Israel. Within four months we had completed our application forms, filled out our medical forms and received a host of unabridged documentation from the Department of Home Affairs (which is a miracle in and off itself!), we received our visas and our plane tickets in the last month before leaving. Three months ago we left South Africa and arrived in Israel on the morning of December 16th 2014.  A few hours after landing, we left the airport as citizens.

You see, as Jews, we are entitled to Israeli citizenship by virtue of {the Law of Return}.  Take a moment and click the link to read exactly what the law entails.  Its a short but very informative page.

So, we landed at the airport, went through to the office, waited a bit since there were a few people ahead of us and then Paul and I had our photos taken and we were issued our Israeli ID books (the kids get theirs when they are 16 but they are listed in our books).  And that’s the long and the short of us becoming Israeli citizens.

Three months and one day after arriving we participated in our first election. *Edited to add: If the election had taken place on 15th March instead if 17th March we would not have been able to vote, you have to be a resident for at least 90 days before being eligible. I only found this out today 🙂

*Photo by Paul
*Photo by Paul

Its quite daunting having to choose a party without having directly experienced much of what the previous government had delivered/failed to deliver.  I decided to research each party (online and by discussions with colleagues and friends) and disregard any that didn’t stand for my own views on Israel as a Jewish homeland.  I was then left with a handful of parties that somewhat fit my views and beliefs.  None of them fit exactly, some had things I wanted, some didn’t, so I made a pro/con list and went with the party that had the most pros vs cons.

The election day is given off as a public holiday, so we decided to be at the voting station early (they opened at 7am) so that we could then take a train out to Tel Aviv and explore a bit.  We wound up arriving at the voting station at 7:30am and were the only people there.  I walked in, handed the official my ID document, they marked me off the voters roll and gave me a small envelope.  I then went into the booth and chose the slip of paper with my party’s name on it, placed it in the envelope, sealed it and then dropped it in the box in front of the officials.  A process of less than 5 minutes. Easy peasy.

After voting we hopped on a train and went on an excursion to the Tel Aviv Port which is very much like the V&A Waterfront.  We watched people fishing, almost got splashed by some waves, saw lots of dogs that had been shaved for the summer (think standard poodle with only his tail and his head not shaved).


We saw a huge crab escape a fishing line (come back tomorrow for a photo that Paul took) and watched a trio of young kids play keyboard, base and trombone for the crowd with a bunch of little kids dancing like no one was watching in front of them.




We took lots of gorgeous photos, Paul’s mostly more gorgeous than mine. We then met up with my brother and his family and a friend of Paul’s who also happens to be an ex Saffa and had sushi for lunch.


Faith wasn’t feeling so well so we called it a day after getting an ice-cream for dessert and headed back to the train station to go home.  I ended up having a fantastic nap before dinner.  A great end to a fantastic day.