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
Name: Mordechai Yogev
Party: Bayit Yehudi
Family status: married, 10 children, 10 grandchildren
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].
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
What issues do you plan to to make a priority?
Torah, education, social justice, the settlements in Judea and Samaria and
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 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
What can be done to lower the cost of housing in Israel and to cut
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?
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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].