Questionnaire: The Knesset blogger

Jeremy Saltan left the private sector to report on the inner workings of the legislature and hopes to make the country a better place starting from the inside.

Jeremy Saltan 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Jeremy Saltan 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
■ What issue gets you out of bed in the morning?
Feeling privileged to work in the Knesset. It is an honor to work [there], and I often think of the many people who wish they were in my place. I have the ability to impact and change policy by assisting legislative efforts.
■ What issue keeps you up at night?
I think it is my generation’s responsibility to get things right. What keeps me up at night are thoughts on what type of country we are building for my daughter and the next generation.
■ What’s the most difficult professional moment you’ve faced so far?
It was a difficult personal decision for me to leave the private sector and begin concentrating on trying to make Israel a better place from inside the Knesset. The salary is not anything to write home about. I feel that I have done a lot with my life and that I have been very successful. I have held high-level positions in corporate Israel, I have started my own business, and I had great responsibility during my military service. I don’t regret my decision.
■ Why do you do what you do?
To have the privilege of being in the rooms where decisions are made. There are many views on how to solve Israel’s problems. I have friends from across the political spectrum. I feel that it is my responsibility to personally be present in the decision-making conversations so that I can voice my party’s opinions and offer options I feel are best for the country.
I think that it is very important for Israel’s citizens, including olim, to have all of the information they can on our political process. That is why I decided to start the only blog that covers the Knesset’s legislative activity in English at
■ If you were prime minister, what’s the first thing you would do?
I would try to solve Israel’s long-standing domestic issues by conducting weekly meetings with the leaders of each party represented in the Knesset – coalition and opposition. I think it is very important for the prime minister to make time for the citizens’ representatives, not just those in the coalition. I feel that if I sat down with both (or all) sides, we could come to compromises on the issues of an Israeli constitution, electoral reform, all citizen groups participating in national service and more.
■ Which Israeli should have a movie made about him/her?
I have always found Bennie Begin to be one of the most interesting politicians and people. I think many people would go out to watch a movie about him.
■ What would you change about Israelis if you could?
I think patience and understanding can go a long way.
■ iPad, BlackBerry or pen and paper?
I am a traditionalist, pen and paper. I don’t own an iPad or BlackBerry.
■ If you had to write an advertisement to entice tourists to come to Israel, what would it say?
Israel: History. Religion. Culture. Innovation. Beauty.
■ What is the most serious problem facing the country?
Apathy in politics. There are many citizens who have become jaded and have given up on the country in many ways, especially politically. I really think that people who sit home on election day are doing their country a disservice.
I wonder how high the voter turnout would be if election day weren’t a national holiday. Many good people avoid political involvement.
■ How can it be solved?
I think that if more people get involved with the political process, the quality of the parties and the MKs will increase. I think we are in need of a few brave quality people to enter politics.
I also think that becoming more informed on what actually goes on in the Knesset [will enable] transparency, and the average citizen will feel they are part of the process.
■ In 20 years, the country will be:
I am an optimist. I think that Israel will be a better place in 2032. I hope that the decisions we make today will enable that future, and if not, I trust my generation to get things right when we are in power.