From Oleh to Politician

I was born and raised for the most part in Queens, New York, with significant stints in Venezuela and Brazil. However, from a young age I understood that Israel was my home. I got to fulfill that dream 20 years ago, when in 1997, together with my wife and two young children we landed at Ben-Gurion Airport with a one-way ticket courtesy of the State of Israel.

We have never regretted that move. Five more children were born to us in Israel. Two children have already served in the army and the third is on his way in. Despite the ups and downs of volatile employment in the Israeli startup world and a three-year Shlichut to Uruguay, the bedrock of our community of Alon Shvut has consistently maintained our spirits, our sanity and our sense of connection to the people and the land.

Advertisement

At one point in time, inspired by the activities of Moshe Feiglin, I joined the Likud and served as a member of its Central Committee for over a dozen years. My exposure to the heart of the Israeli political system was both educational and frustrating. The political scene is not for the weak-hearted. Nonetheless, I trudged on and stayed with it until educational and rabbinic projects captured my time and attention.

However, now I’m returning to Israeli politics. This time in a new party and in a new role. I’ve been invited to run in the primaries of the Zehut party to compete for a spot in their Knesset list.

Zehut, under the leadership of Moshe Feiglin, represents something both new and refreshing in Israeli politics. It is a party that is not ashamed of our Jewishness. It believes that Israel is our God-given land. It is unapologetic about our right to be here and to defend our land and our home. It has a deep, thoughtful and powerful platform that addresses the spectrum of issues that confront our government. From terrorism, to the economy, to housing, to taxes, there is a coherent, intelligible, responsible agenda that I truly believe can significantly improve the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Interestingly, there is a new and unique twist. The Zehut party has assigned spots on their list that non-Israeli Jews can vote for, for those who are members of Zehut International. This is the first time in the history of the State of Israel that Jews from the Diaspora are given a voice to determine potential Knesset members. Mind you, it’s not a huge say, but it is a start. Zehut is assigning every tenth spot on its list to a Zehut International candidate. Meaning spots 10, 20 and 30 on their list are reserved for candidates voted on by Zehut International members.

Now with a new party there is always the probability that they will receive fewer seats than hoped for, if any. Realistically, based on the latest polls, it would be incredibly impressive if even one Zehut International candidate makes it into the Knesset. Nonetheless, that is the spot I’m running for.

I would like to ask of you two things:

Check out Zehut, Zehut International and their platform. If it’s interesting to you, join, and then vote for me in the primaries. If you’re interested in getting involved and helping out with my campaign, please let me know.

Thanks,

Ben-Tzion Spitz

Candidate for the Knesset

Advertisement