The Rihanna Effect: Why Israelis Didn’t Vote on Election Day

Israelis in record numbers decided to hit the ‘snooze’ button on their democratic right to vote on Tuesday. Less than half of all eligible voters for municipal elections across the country went to the ballot box. In response to this disturbing development, the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for municipal elections, conducted a snap poll as to the reasons behind the depressed voter turnout.

The Top Five Reasons that Israelis Stayed Away:

1) Diamonds are Forever: Rihanna’s one-night-only show in Israel as part of her Diamond World Tour caused thousands of fans to arrive at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park extra early. For her part, RiRi was very late in taking to the stage. As a result, thousands of would-be voters did not make it back in time to their respective ballot boxes.

2) By George! A surprising amount of Israeli men and women decided to skip election day in order to fly to London and take part in the christening of Prince George, the three-month-old son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Devoted Israeli anglophiles slept outside Buckingham Palace for two straight nights to make sure that they got to glimpse a possible future king of a once upon an empire.

3) Good Grief: The death of Rabbi Ovadia Yossef drew over 800,000 people to the funeral – making it the largest in Israel’s history. So many mourners were overwrought with emotion that instead of tearing a piece of clothing – as is the ancient Jewish custom – they accidentally tore their identity cards. The only way to vote in Israel is by presenting this card…

4) No Like, No Vote: On election eve, Facebook users across Israel were suddenly unable to like posts, post comments or upload photos. The temporary loss of constant contact with virtual friends caused an outbreak of mass hysteria, leaving many otherwise functional citizens in the fetal position, fondling their smartphones and gazing blankly into space. Once order was restored, many Israelis proceeded to spend Election Day posting comments on how difficult it was to have not been able to like posts, post comments or upload photos for two whole hours.

5) Rock My World: Four minor earthquakes in four days have raised concerns about a ‘Big One’ on the immediate horizon. The effect of this uncertainty on large swaths of the Israeli public has been profound. “You think I want to spend my last minutes on earth voting in an indicted mayor for a second term in office?” has become a popular sentiment.

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