Meet the Candidate: Gilad Alper
My name is Gilad Alper. I am an economist by profession and a classical liberal in my worldview. Currently, I am a serving member of the Economic Council that advises Israel’s Finance Minister and the Chief Analyst at a large investment firm. Over the past years, I have been very involved in explaining liberal ideas. Within this framework, I founded the “Capitalism” blog, created dozens of internet videos and wrote articles on the “Mida” website and in the financial press. Recently, I was instrumental in writing parts of Zehut’s economic platform.
As a veteran liberal and activist whose priority is civil and economic liberty, and maintains politically rightist views, I have waited for many years for a political party like Zehut - a party that would present a truly liberal worldview and the change that Israel so sorely needs. For me, joining Zehut was the natural thing to do. I will work diligently to bring Zehut to the political achievement that will allow it to have true influence on the decision-making process in Israel, to bring Zehut the essential support that it needs from Israel’s business sector and to represent the economic and civil liberal voice within Zehut.
As for my professional background, I have been a financial analyst for 20 years and graduated with honors from the Department of Economics in Tel Aviv University. I hold a Master’s Degree from the Norwegian School of Economics. In the past, I have worked at Commerzbank in London, Meryl Lynch in New York and was among the founders of the Norwegian start-up CUPP Computing AS.
What do you bring with you to Zehut?
First, I bring with me a professional economic authority that will not allow the party's economic ideas to be ignored as "not serious." As the formulator of Zehut’s economic platform and its senior economist, my natural place is as the "finance minister" of Zehut - in quotation marks, of course. That is, the person who will coordinate the economic approach of Zehut and its connection to the business community.
Beyond that, I bring with me to Zehut a "kosher stamp" of 20 years of experience in economics and finance in the private sector, including in international companies such as Merrill Lynch. Thanks to these years, thanks to formal education in the economics field and my love of liberty, I have developed a liberal, economic and social worldview, and certain skills to explain this concept and to convince people that it is right. I see this as my main asset.
What will be your political focus?
My main area is economics, but in my view, economics requires a global view, inseparable from the liberal approach to issues that are considered civil, such as education, cannabis, marriage, and more. In the near future, I intend to dedicate much of my time at Moshe Feiglin's side, working to build Zehut, with all the complexities - creating financial infrastructures and a political organization that needs regional branches, municipal presence, youth organizations and students and information infrastructures in the different sectors of Israeli society. After that, if I am elected to the Knesset, I intend to dedicate most of my parliamentary activities to the struggle against the high cost of living, regulation, and bills that will effectively abolish unnecessary and extraneous legislation.
How will you bring voters to Zehut?
First, I have already begun to work on creating bases of support for Zehut within the business community. I believe that a liberal party needs a business community, even though it is hard for many in the business community to accept Moshe Feiglin. It will be much easier for them to support Zehut if a natural representative of the business and economic community is included in the list as No. 2. Second, I do not ignore identity politics in Israel. Many in secular and bourgeois Israel find it easy to connect to Zehut’s liberal, social, and economic messages, but they see Moshe Feiglin primarily as religious and settler, which unfortunately we all know is liable to significantly discourage natural voters of a liberal party in the secular public. I believe that for these audiences, my presence as number 2, advancing economic issues in Zehut may facilitate identification with the party.
So why should we vote for you?
I am not asking you to vote for me. Of course, I will be pleased with your vote and I will certainly be very happy if I win the elections and personally thank each of my supporters. However, I am a team player by nature and it is important for me to be part of a strong team that will advance liberty in Israel in the best possible way. I would like you to vote for the list that will strengthen Zehut and honor the liberal values in the Knesset, and I would be very grateful if you choose me to be one of its leaders.