A Bit About Me…
My name is Rafael Minnes. I am married to Odelyah and the father of 9 amazing children. I am a doctor of physics and lecturer in Ariel and Bar-Ilan Universities. I live in Kiryat Netafim in the Shomron. I am one of the founding members of Zehut.
What do you bring with you to Zehut?
Many Knesset Members with the right views were disappointing at the moment of truth because of their inability to withstand pressure. It is important that the elected candidates will know how to promote the Zehut platform in the face of the media, public and political pressures that will be exerted on them.
I will briefly describe my life experience relevant to my future role as an MK so that you can learn about my character and abilities:
• I graduated with a BA in biophysics from Bar-Ilan University with honors. Immediately after that, I continued on a direct Ph.D. track at the physics department at Bar-Ilan University.
Within four years of completing my bachelor’s degree, I completed my doctorate. Followed by four years of postdoctoral studies in the United States.
In 2012 we returned to Israel and I joined Bar-Ilan University as Director of the Microscopy Unit.
In 2014 I began working as a lecturer and researcher at Ariel University.
My fast track at the academy, along with the many research topics I work on, attest to my ability to withstand pressure, determination, and talent in solving complex problems. These capabilities will help me realize the Zehut ideology as a member of Knesset (without excuses of “what you see from here …”).
• In the army, I served as a combat soldier in Intelligence Unit 636, and then went to an officers’ course and served as an intelligence officer.
After my discharge from the army, I worked for the GSS.
My experience in the army (I still serve as a reserve duty volunteer) and the Shin Bet greatly contributes to my understanding of security matters both on the tactical and strategic levels.
• During my post-doctorate I opened a small spice business in the US called Minnes Spices, a business that I planned to continue in Israel, but because of bureaucracy I shelved the idea.
This experience contributed to my acquaintance with the business world and the bumpy path that the state erects before business owners. I will work to ease the burden of regulation, and promote a reform in business licensing that will make the process of setting up a business simpler, cheaper and faster. Such a reform would advance the Israeli economy quickly.
• Since education is very important to me, I have always tried to work in the field (beyond teaching in academia):
– I am a member of the Executive Committee of the “Abulafia Institute”, a center for the study and application of Jewish integrated psychotherapy.
– I was the Academic Director of the Alpha Program (a program of the Ministry of Education for integrating gifted high school students in university research) at Ariel University.
– In addition to my doctorate, I taught for two years as a teacher at ORT Singalovski.
My experience in the field of education has contributed to the fact that I have a systematic assessment of the educational process and its application at the national level.
What will be your Political Focus?
I will work to reduce the government’s involvement in the citizen’s life and to restore freedom and rights to the citizens. The first and necessary step towards the realization of the Zehut vision is reform of the Israeli legal system, in particular by restoring balance between the judiciary and the other authorities, and defining the powers of the court. In addition, the political-security issue is one of the main issues to which I will devote my time and energy.
Why should we vote for you?
Zehut has an extraordinary combination (at least in Israel) of a rightist political and security approach and a classic liberal worldview that sees supreme value in protecting individual liberties. (This is an area that the Left untruthfully appropriated for itself). Among the candidates there are those to whom the political-national aspect is important, and they did not have a liberal worldview before Zehut. On the other hand, there are candidates who are mainly liberals, but the political-security issue is not their main focus.I have a natural combination of an orderly liberal vision and a right-wing political outlook.I believe that my worldview and life experience have prepared me to act and lead in the important task the party faces.