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Friday, 10 August 2018

Karmiel Voters Lost In Translation?

Rina GreenbergRina Greenberg, Karmiel’s present deputy mayor, is running her 2018 campaign for the city’s top job in Russian, Hebrew – and Russian and Hebrew!

Ukrainian-born Greenberg, who celebrated her 70th birthday earlier this month, has been swift to distribute campaign literature in two separate and expensive-looking leaflets each aimed at Hebrew and Russian-speaking potential voters.

But what about native English speakers like me?

When I met her last night (Thursday) at a pre-election meeting hosted by the Kehilat Hakerem Synagogue, the former city adviser on immigrant affairs was non-committal about my suggestion for one multi-lingual leaflet to include also Spanish, English and Amharic.

My Hebrew’s not good but I was told she replied: “Well, there are many languages out there, it’s a question of money, I'll see what I can do”.

City councils (‘municipalities’) worldwide are notorious for finding money for those matters that most interest - and benefit - elected officials and their civil servants.

My warm suggestion to Ms Greenberg and her friendly rivals for the mayoralty is that they treat all the city’s linguistic communities with equal respect. During October 2017, I wrote that I and other local Anglos felt like second class citizens when we were unrepresented at the city’s Yom Ha’aliyah (immigration day) event.

So I hope those responsible at the ‘irya’ (city hall) read this short note and take appropriate action. No-one there will either know or care one jot about me as an individual, but surely they will appreciate that every vote – and voter - counts!

© Natalie Wood (10 August  2018)

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