Orlev Says 30,000 Support Him, Rivals Laugh

The numbers floated by the candidates do not add up. Abramowitz: "If they're all correct, we rival Likud in size."

Gil Ronen ,

Orlev in news conference
Orlev in news conference
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Veteran MK Zevulun Orlev boasted Thursday that he has signed up 30,000 supporters, who will presumably vote for him as one of their choices in the Jewish Home's primaries. The total number of members eligible to vote in the primaries is now about 40,000, he estimated.

"Our supporters are tired of having someone new 'parachuted' into the party as leader every time," he said. "That is what happened with Effie Eitam and with Rav Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, against whom I have nothing personal,  but it is clear to everyone that there are no shortcuts in Israeli politics."

Orlev's rivals smiled in response to his claims. "The old-style politics never seemed more truthful," said Naftali Bennett's headquarters sarcastically. "We are certain that the data that the candidates gave are accurate," the HQ statement added. "Therefore, if one candidate says he signed up 30,000 out of a total of 40,000 members, and another candidate claims he has signed up 15,000, then a simple calculation shows that Naftali Bennett must have signed up minus 5,000 people…"

Minister Hershkowitz's headquarters also laughed at Orlev's numerical claims and said that they are evidence of panic and deep distress. "The public has grown sick of in-fighting and narrow-mindedness, and will vote for whoever can unite religious Zionism into a large, influential party within the coalition," the Hershkowitz HQ said.

Ari Abramowitz added pithily: "If all of them are telling the truth, we celebrate that the Jewish Home is now rivaling Likud and Kadima in size."