Meet the New MK: Evgeny Sova, Yisrael Beytenu

Evgeny Sova, MK on behalf of Yisrael Beytenu (photo credit: Courtesy)
Evgeny Sova, MK on behalf of Yisrael Beytenu
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Name: Evgeny Sova
Party: Yisrael Beytenu
Age: 38
Hometown: Petah Tikvah
Family status: Married +2
Profession before becoming an MK: Journalist and analyst on politics and diplomacy for Channel 9, [which broadcasts in Russian in Israel] and the international channel RTVI. In May 2017, I began hosting a daily news program on Radio Kan-Reka.
Why did you decide to enter politics?

I understood that I cannot help a lot of people in the TV or radio studio. I needed to get out of my comfortable chair and do something and have an influence. Entering politics is not easy, but it is important and necessary if you want to make changes.
What are the first bills you plan to propose?

I want to help my parents’ generation, the generation that brought us, their children, to Israel. They need people in the Knesset who know their generation’s problems well. These social issues include their pensions and housing, and they are critical for our voters. We will do everything to help them.
What was the most interesting experience on the campaign trail?
I personally met thousands of people. Most of them knew me from the television screen and radio, and it was a wonderful opportunity to see the people who voted for the party. It was amazing.

This election has been notable for especially negative campaigning. What do you hope to do to bring people together after these divisive months?
We did not have a personal campaign against anyone and respected human dignity. Unfortunately, there were parties that ordered fake polls that completely ignored us and predicted that we would lose in the elections. It didn’t happen despite the very negative campaign against us. We know the source of our power; we know the people who gave us their trust, and we will not disappoint them.
What is your position on US President Donald Trump’s expected peace plan and on a possible Palestinian state?
At the moment, it’s all talk. We’ve heard about this plan for two years already and nothing happened. Our stance is clear: We must talk about the Palestinian topic but not necessarily with the Palestinians. They currently only support terrorism and pay salaries to terrorists, so there’s nothing to talk about with them.
What should the government’s response be to growing global antisemitism?
Unfortunately, global antisemitism always existed and always will exist. It shouldn’t just be Israel’s problem, but one of all the countries that need to protect their citizens regardless of their background. Jews from around the world know very well that today, 75 years after the Holocaust, they have one safe place, the State of Israel. We also know how to help many countries that are fighting antisemitism and attempts to hurt Jews.

Do you support maintaining the status quo on religion and state – including issues like marriage, public transportation on Shabbat, kashrut, the Western Wall and others?

Certainly. We are not against religion. We are for tradition and against a halachic state. My oldest daughter attends an Orthodox school, and when she is older, she can choose what lifestyle she wants, but I want it to be a free choice without coercion. We are Jews who live in a Jewish and democratic state and do not want the State of Israel to become a halachic state.
How do you think the government should address the matter of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) enlistment in the IDF?
There is a bill the Defense Ministry [under Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman] prepared which passed a first reading in July 2018. The bill is good for the State of Israel and for the haredim themselves. There is no reason to change it, and that is a matter of principle. Everyone must serve in the army. It is a basic responsibility of every citizen in the state.
What can be done to lower the cost of living?
We should stop giving out money to those who don’t contribute to the Israeli economy and make a lot of things simpler so that working people and people who serve in the army and pay taxes can feel that the country supports them.
What will you do to help 400,000 Anglo Israelis?
Their problems are very similar to those of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union. We will try to help them.
Is there something else people should know about you?
I prefer that people get to know me from my actions in the Knesset and I am thankful for the support we received in the election.