Meet the Candidate: Hagai Ben Ami
My name is Hagai Ben Ami, I’m 25 years old and I live in Haifa. I grew up as a secular Jew to Ba’al Teshuva parents, I served three years in the Navy and am now finishing two degrees with distinction at the University of Ariel: one in Physics and the other in Electrical Engineering.
I believe in the Zehut party for two main reasons. First of all, the Zehut Party defines goals and strategies through connecting to our identity, something that allows it to present creative and practical solutions to a wide array of the Israel’s problems. Second, the structure of the Zehut Party gives the power to the people. This structure enables ideological power and draws clear red lines.
What do you bring to Zehut?
As a secular Jew who grew up in a religious household in a secular neighborhood I know that it is possible and even necessary to live in harmony, where no side forces their lifestyle on the other. My Jewish identity, which emerged from both the secular world and constant exposure to the religious world, enables me to justify our ownership over this land while at the same time encouraging the separation of religion and state.
What are the issues that you will focus on in your political career?
As a member of Knesset I would focus on reducing regulations through emphasizing the facilitation of small business, opening the electrical market to non-governmental players through encouragement of green energy development, and pushing the advancement of separation of religion and state.
How will you draw voters to the Zehut Party?
I believe that I am fit to be the secular representative that perpetuates the goals of the Zehut Party through ideas brought forth by the enlightenment movement, nationalism, and liberalism, ideas that speak to the Secular Zionist Community (which is the majority of the Israeli secular community) which believes in the right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their land and is turned off by post-modernism.
So why should we vote for you?
A representative like me, whose national Jewish identity enables him to promote the values of freedom and open-mindedness on one hand and nationalism on the other, living peacefully with the secular-religious duality around him, brings to the party a unique voice that can connect to many new communities. Because of this I believe that I will represent Zehut in the Knesset.