The life story of Alex Orlyuk does not seem destined to lead to political apathy. Born in the Soviet Union to a family scarred by the Holocaust, he moved at the age of six to Tel Aviv, where he finished school and military service. He follows politics and prizes democracy. He thinks his government should do more to make peace with Palestinians, separate religion and state, and cut inequality. And yet, now 28 and eligible to vote in the past four general elections, he has never cast a ballot. His abstention, he says, is “a political statement” on the sorry state of Israel’s politics. He does not think any of its myriad parties is likely to bring about the change he wants. Many other young Israelis share his disaffection. Just 58% of under-35s, and just 41% of under-25s, voted in the general election of 2013, compared with 88% of over-55s. No other rich country has a bigger gap in turnout between under-25s and over-55s.