web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Likud’s Rising Star – Single, Female And Religious

Tzipi Hotovely, 30, is the youngest member of Knesset and a rising star in the Likud party. She grew up in Rechovot and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bar Ilan University, where she served as editor of the Law Review.

Plucked from political obscurity by Benjamin Netanyahu, this relative newcomer has quickly made her mark in the political arena with her straight talk and hawkish stance. She spoke recently with The Jewish Press about her background, her views, and her vision for the future of Israel.

The Jewish Press: How did you get your start in politics?

Hotovely: My path to politics was very unique. I didn’t plan to be in politics. I was a Ph.D. student at Tel Aviv University. Three years ago I started performing in a political debate show on Channel 10. I was the only woman, the only religious right-winger among the panel.

So I attracted a lot of attention. One of the viewers was Benjamin Netanyahu. He was very impressed and called me to his office and said, “I think you’re doing a great job, but you can contribute much more to the Jewish people by going into politics.”

He asked me to join the Likud. For me it was a big dilemma because I had been writing in Maariv and was part of the academic world, and I wasn’t sure where I would contribute more. But after the Gaza Disengagement I realized that the most important decisions are created here [in the Knesset]. That was the reason I decided that whatever issues might arise concerning the settlers in Eretz Yisrael, I want to be here to raise my hand for whatever is good for the Jewish people.

The majority of Israelis, in voting for right-wing parties following the Gaza War, apparently wanted Israel to take a harder line – much the same way they elected Ariel Sharon following the increase in terror in 2001. Are there any assurances that the new Likud government, unlike the previous Likud government in the mid-2000s, will adhere to the platform on which it was elected?

The fact is, all the people who weren’t devoted to the Likud ideology are now in Kadima. The team the Likud presented in this election is comprised of very ideologically-minded people, including ministers and members of Knesset who are very right wing, like Benny Begin and Moshe Yaalon. They want to give the message that we won’t let the Sharon case happen again.

Many people enter politics as hardliners but compromise their positions once they’re in the political arena. Though you’ve only been in the Knesset a short time, do you find it harder to maintain your positions now that you’re part of the process?

I think there is a very big difference between a member of Knesset and the prime minister. The prime minister is part of the international arena. When you’re a member of Knesset it’s much easier to feel free to say whatever you want.

Netanyahu gave control of much of Hebron to the Palestinians during his first term as prime minister and then later, as a minister in the Sharon government, withdrew his support of the Gaza Disengagement at a time his action was guaranteed not to have any significant impact. Do you feel this same Netanyahu is strong enough to withstand pressure from President Obama and the Europeans?

I trust Netanyahu and think he has returned to the prime minister’s chair older and much more mature. But more than what he learned is the fact that the reality has changed. When he was prime minister the first time he was shackled by the Oslo accords and he was trying to stop them. But the whole process revolved around Oslo. Now Oslo is not an issue anymore because everyone knows the process failed and everyone is looking for a new way. And he will bring that new approach.

Netanyahu has talked of bolstering the Palestinian economy. With PA President Mahmoud Abbas refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and with Fatah continuing to disseminate anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic propaganda among the Palestinian people, how would economic improvement change the political landscape?

What Netanyahu is talking about is three routes – one through the economy, one through security and one through the leadership. I think when he talks about the economy he means in the broader perspective. He doesn’t mean just improving the standard of living. I think he is talking about education as well. It’s part of the economic plan. Every time I speak to him he says that as long as the Palestinians keep up their anti-Zionist propaganda and the way they teach their children in high school and even in kindergarten, peace will be far and unreachable.

With the threat of a nuclear-equipped Iran increasing and in the absence of strong U.S. opposition to that threat, do you envision the Netanyahu government taking unilateral action?

Netanyahu has always stressed that Iran is not just the biggest problem facing Israel but the biggest problem facing the Western world. Iran is also a threat to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other countries terrified of the idea that the broader Middle East will be threatened by Iran. [A nuclear-armed Iran] will change the whole balance of power. The big challenge is to convince the Americans to share the challenge, to understand it’s not just an Israeli issue.

Israel is very strong, but a military operation of this sort cannot be undertaken by Israel alone. It must be done with the cooperation of America. Economic sanctions have to be involved. The whole free world has to be involved.

How do you view the Israeli public’s current attitude toward the two-state solution?

The Israeli public has gone through a shift [based on] disillusionment. If you would have asked three years ago, the best solution seemed to be disengagement, which means the Palestinians are there and we’re here and there’s a strong separation and everything will be OK. But the Gaza test case has shown everyone that they were running away from the problem, not solving it. Netanyahu has said [he will not be party to a solution] without the Palestinians first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

But Abbas has refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and even if he were to do so, would such a statement coming from him be believable?

I think and believe that if the Palestinians really want to have peace it shouldn’t mean Israel has to withdraw from the settlements, because the settlements are part of our Jewish history. The Jews lived in Hebron, in Beit El. These are biblical places. Hebron is the place where King David began his kingdom. I don’t think it’s something we can let go, because what is Zionism all about? Zionism is really about going back to Zion, going back to Jerusalem, going back to all those biblical places. We need to start talking about the peace process without removing people from the settlements.

You are currently the only single, religious woman in the Knesset. Do you ever feel uncomfortable in this position?

No, because I think it’s temporary! My status at the moment gives me a lot of freedom to do what I’m doing because it’s many hours of hard work. B’ezrat Hashem I hope to get married soon and have a family and show everyone that it’s possible to be a religious woman with a family and do this very important shlichut [mission].

About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Likud’s Rising Star – Single, Female And Religious”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Sara Lehmann

It is hard to believe that only one hundred years ago religion played such a central and accepted role in the personal and governmental lives of American citizens that its invocation was standard.

Arieh King

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

What’s important is to make the case for Israel more forcefully and to give it the articulation that the next presidential candidates ought to have.

From Obamacare to Common Core to gay marriage, radical agendas are pushed through the legal system.

In the fury and flurry of publicity surrounding the Klinghoffer opera, another musical affront to Jews almost went unnoticed.

You’re not going to change public opinion. The media are so biased you can’t get your story through. But what counts is America.

I understand how two governments can negotiate a ceasefire, but terrorists by definition are not playing by the same rules as you are.

Like all patriotic Americans, I cheered implementation of the Bush Doctrine to preemptively protect American lives from the perceived threat of WMD.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/likuds-rising-star-single-female-and-religious/2009/07/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: