Jeremy Gimpel, who is running for a slot in the Jewish Home Knesset list, announced Thursday that he is backing MK Zevulun Orlev for the position of chairman of the party.
Arutz Sheva has reported that Orlev promised Gimpel the second place in the list of candidates he will present to the registered party members in the primary vote. If Orlev is selected as chairman, Gimpel will get the number three spot in that list, after Orlev and another candidate. If not, Gimpel will be number two, since Orlev has announced he will not run for Knesset if he is not selected as party chairman.
Gimpel has reportedly added 3,000 new members to the Jewish Home in the recent membership drive, the vast majority of them olim from English speaking countries. Gimpel is the first candidate in the primaries to announce his support for Orlev.
MK Orlev said Thursday that the support from Gimpel and the "Anglo olim" is "a certificate of honor" for him and explained that the fact that thousands of new immigrants see the Jewish Home as their political home is a matter of great significance for religious Zionism.
Gimpel himself said Thursday: "I have come to know Zevulun Orlev in a deep way and unlike the stigmas that the media tries to pin on him, he is an experienced and responsible leader with public vision and the ability to carry out that is among the most impressive in the country."
"In politics and public leadership," Gimpel explained in a probable allusion to Naftali Bennett's candidacy, "I do not believe in sudden revolutions, which may turn out to be temporary and disappear within one or two Knesset terms."
"History teaches us that long term political success is achieved through thorough and calculated work, along with a vision and sound judgment. Only a unified party under Zevulun Orlev's responsible and experienced leadership – along with the new forces joining the party – will lead to maximum success."
Gimpel added that after in-depth conversations with all three candidates for party chairman, he has concluded that Orlev is most seriously dedicated to the idea of uniting the Jewish Home with the National Union and Am Shalem parties. This, he said, was a central consideration in his decision to support Orlev.