MK Meir Porush
MK Meir PorushIsrael National News

MK Meir Porush (UTJ) has expressed his optimism regarding the elections scheduled for November, despite assessments that his party will lose voters to MK Itamar Ben Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit party, currently aligned with the Religious Zionism party headed by MK Bezalel Smotrich.

In an interview with the Kol Berama radio station, Porush said that there was a good chance that the current government would be replaced by something very different this winter.

"We're approaching the elections with a lot of energy, a lot of financial backing -- because we know there' a good chance that we're going to succeed in replacing this government," Porush said.

He added that he expected the Jewish opposition parties to pick up new voters from people disillusioned with having voted for ostensibly right-wing parties in the last round of elections, and feeling stabbed in the back when those same parties turned around and joined forces with the Left.

"There is a large number of people who voted for parties calling themselves right-wing last time," Porush said, "and after seeing what those parties did with their votes, they're going to return to our bloc. We must make sure of getting these people's votes if we want to win."

Asked whether he thought a significant number of haredim would be voting for MK Ben Gvir, Porush said, "If I was the kind of person who got all excited by photo ops, and if they really mattered, I'd be prime minister today. I, too, have visited Beit El and received embraces there. But do I think that people there are all going to vote Agudat Yisrael? No. In the same way, I'm not getting worked up about all the embraces Ben Gvir is receiving among some haredim."

Earlier this week, while in the Samarian community of Beit El, Porush said, "Journalists have been asking us recently what will happen if we don't succeed in winning 61 seats and forming a government. Whenever I'm asked that question, I reply the same thing. There are 112 days left to the elections and we're going to be working full-out to bring as many votes as possible so that we can establish a right-wing government."

Porush, part of the Chassidic faction of the UTJ party, also commented on statements made by party leader MK Moshe Gafni of the Lithuanian faction (Degel HaTorah), suggesting that UTJ might join up with left-wing political parties to form a government.

"Ignore all the publicity being blown up around that question," Porush said. "We in UTJ will never sit in a left-wing government. Our Council of Torah Sages always instructs us to join with the political parties that are closest to Jewish tradition."