Matanya Harow, the youngest candidate running for municipal council in the October 30 local races in Efrat, West Bank.
(photo credit: LAUREN HAROW PHOTOGRAPHY)
While many Israeli 23-year-olds are trekking in South America or going to beach parties in Tel Aviv, Matanya Harow, is shaking hands and kissing babies.
Harow is believed to be the youngest candidate running for municipal council in the October 30 local races. He is running for a seat on the city council in Efrat, where he has lived his entire life.
The sixth of seven children born to Dr. Earl Harow and Land of Israel Network radio host Eve Harow, his mother inspired him to enter politics, as did his cousin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow.
“If you have a chance to serve the Jewish people and the land of Israel, you have an obligation to do so,” Ari told Matanya.
Eve Harow served on the city council for 10 years. Before that she was involved in civil disobedience to try to prevent the government from giving an Efrat hilltop to the Palestinian Authority in 1995.
“When I was four months old, my mother spent the night in prison, and I had to be nursed, so they brought me to her,” Harow said. “I was nursed on the values of love of the land and dedication to the place where you live. Those values drove me to be a council member.”
Harow is number eight on Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi’s list, Efrat Mithadeshet. Revivi’s list won five of the nine seats five years ago, but since then, two more members were added to the council because Efrat grew in size.
“Revivi has done a lot to help young people in Efrat,” said Harow, who has been to a parlor meeting with the mayor every single night.
Harow said that if elected, his goals would be helping second-generation Efrat residents stay in Efrat, developing the local tourism industry, and developing and settling the city’s final hilltop, Givat Ha’eitam.
But meanwhile, he just started studying economics and international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem after five years in the IDF and Yeshivat Har Etzion
in the hesder program. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he first says “a father” and then adds “ambassador to the United States.”
“I don’t think of it as politics but as public service,” Harow said. “Among my friends, some think I’m crazy. The other half aren’t surprised, because I was always the kid who ran different things.”
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