Ofer Engel was among the millions of Israeli voters casting their ballots in the national elections on Tuesday. But unlike most of them, he was not expressing his own political opinion, but that of a Palestinian woman living in Nablus.
Engel, who studies the impact of Internet technology on social movements at the London School of Economics, decided to join an online campaign called Real Democracy, through which Israeli citizens voluntarily grant their vote to Palestinians living in the West Bank. The Palestinians meet their Israeli counterparts on a designated Facebook page, tell them which party to vote for, and the Israelis then go and cast their vote for that party.
“Millions of Palestinians are living under the control of Israeli soldiers with no option to impact the Israeli decision-makers on issues that affect their lives,” Engel told The Times of Israel, explaining the rationale.
“Our goal is not to change the election results, but to engender a debate about how we can call ourselves a democracy while millions are living under occupation.”