From Bnei Akiva to the IDF, Motti Yogev is capping a life of service to the country by heading into the 19th Knesset, where he hopes to make a difference in education, social justice, Zionism and sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

Name:
Mordechai Yogev
Party: Bayit Yehudi
Age: 57
Hometown: The Dolev settlement
Family status: married, 10 children, 10 grandchildren
Before becoming an MK: Deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council, former Bnei Akiva secretary-general, former commander of the IDF’s Maglan special forces unit, with an MA in political science from the University of Haifa.

Why did you decide to enter politics?
I have come to understand that it is the place where you can have the most impact when it comes to making change. There are many things that happened in the past years that I did not support: the 2005 disengagement and the demolition of nine homes in Amona [in 2006].

I felt that I had something to say and do. I thought about running for the Knesset in 2006, but decided to work with the Binyamin Regional Council instead. Now that my term is ending in the council, I decided to head into politics.

What issues do you plan to to make a priority?

Zionism and Torah, education, social justice, the settlements in Judea and Samaria and security.

This Knesset has a record high number of women and religious people. How do you think this will affect the way it functions and the kinds of changes it brings? It allows representatives of different segments of society to form partnerships to advance a broad agenda. There will be places of difference, but we can still work together.

Do you think haredim and Arabs should perform military or national service, and if so, how should the state enforce it?
It has to be done by agreement, not force. A way needs to be found to integrate haredim into the IDF and national service. But it should be done in a way that respects and strengthens Torah study.

The Torah has preserved the Jewish people for generations. The Torah strengthens the army, and the army strengthens the Torah. More can also be done to bring Israeli Arabs into national services; again this should be done by agreement, not force.

What can be done to lower the cost of housing in Israel and to cut the budget?
I’m still studying the issues, but it’s important to strengthen the weaker segments of society.

What is your position on talks with the Palestinian Authority and a possible Palestinian state?
Israel should annex Judea and Samaria [Area C of the West Bank] in stages, starting with the settlements. I’m opposed to a Palestinian state. Israel needs to talk with the Palestinians, but from the perspective of improving life for them on the ground. There needs to be international understanding that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people.

Do you support the adoption of the Edmund Levy Report, which recommends the state approve unauthorized Jewish settlements in the West Bank?

The government should approve the Levy Report and act according to its dictates. It should be used to determine policy in Judea and Samaria instead of past reports, such as the one authored by Talia Sasson [in 2005].

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