Meet the MK: Shuli Muallem
By LAHAV HARKOV
First in a series on new members of 19th Knesset: Bayit Yehudi’s Shuli Muallem wants to lead the battle for equality in burden of national service.
The Jerusalem Post will interview many of the 48 new incoming MKs in the coming
weeks, asking each of them the same questions. First is Shuli Muallem, who
learned Thursday morning that she would be a new MK because her party received
additional votes from IDF soldiers.
Name: Shuli Muallem
Yehudi, 12th on list
Hometown: Neveh Daniel
Family status: Married, 7
Profession before becoming MK: Nurse, but in recent years served as
chairwoman of IDF Widows and Orphans Organization
Why did you decide to enter
I believe it is very important to be active for the State of Israel
and the people of Israel. Whoever has the talents and the humility must try to
do something meaningful. It’s a great thing to be able to influence the Israeli
public, and I think it is very important to be involved.
What are the
first three bills you plan to propose?
I haven’t thought about bills, but there
are three topics that I want to focus on. First, I want to be one of the leaders
in the process of bringing equality in the burden of service. Second, I want to
minimize the gaps between the periphery and the Center, and finally, I want to
deal with Jewish identity.
What was the most interesting experience on
the campaign trail?
It was very interesting to meet different kinds of people,
thousands from all parts of Israeli society – Jewish and Druse, women and men,
young and old. I enjoyed hearing them and their hopefulness, and to see people
that care about our country.
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?
The fact that there are many women
is a blessing; it’s great. Women lead changes for the better. I also think that
many people want the discourse [in the Knesset] to be driven by values, which is
Do you think haredim and Arabs should do military or national
service, and if so, how should the state enforce it?
Certainly. All citizens
must serve. We, as a state, need to create more possibilities to do so, but
everyone must be equal in their service.
Everyone should serve in the
optimal place for the country, for society and for him or her self.
you support a religious-Zionist candidate, such as Rabbi David Stav, for the
Of course. The Bayit Yehudi thinks it is an important mission
to bring back the light to the Chief Rabbinate.
Someone who is socially
involved, served in the army, must stand at the head of the
The chief rabbi plays so many roles for so many parts of
society, and he needs to be involved in all of them.
What can be done to
lower the cost of housing in Israel?
The Bayit Yehudi has a great, excellent
plan, which I hope we can implement. First of all, lands must be unfrozen so
there can be more construction, and more homes should be built in the
What do you think can be cut in the budget, which must be
passed within 45 days of the government’s swearing in?
I think we need to look
for things that can be cut that don’t hurt core activities [of ministries], like
duplicates and extraneous expenses.
The cuts should not be in services to
citizens. The last thing that should happen is for cuts to harm the middle and
weaker classes; those people already live with great difficulties.
is your position on talks with the Palestinian Authority and a possible
I oppose a Palestinian state, and think that only Israel can
be in the Land of Israel. I don’t have a problem with talks; it depends on their
Do you support the adoption of the Edmond Levy Report,
which recommends the state approve unauthorized Jewish settlements in the West
Certainly.The report is one of the most important things to happen
under the last government. I hope, with God’s help, that this will lead to the
authorization of more settlements.