Zevulun Orlev זבולון אורלב is an Israeli politician. He is a Knesset member on the behalf of Mafdal - the National Religious Party of Israel. Orlev, like Efi Eitam, is a war hero and received the Medal of Distinguish Service in the Yom Kippur War.
Born in November 9, 1945 in Rehovot. Today lives in Jerusalem, married with 4 children.
Orlev graduated Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences in the Hebrew University and a Pedagogic Education in Moreshet Yaakov College. After the studies Orlev became an educator (מחנך) - a teacher who also educates for values (and not just teaching classes). He later become general director (מנכ"ל) of the Education Minstry.
Orlev is a member of the Mafdal - The National Religious Party - and the major political institution of the Religious Zionist Movement. As a Knesset member, Orlev focused mainly on social and economical issues, passing many laws in those areas and wining the best legistlator award. He had a major contribution in Mafdal's lawmaking record (the highest per members, in the 15th Assembly).
As a Social Welfare Minister
After the 2003 elections of the 16th Assembly of the Knesset, Orlev was appointed as Minister of Labor and Social Welfare in Ariel Sharon's second government. However, the two major economic key positions - the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Interior Affairs - were given to Benjamin Netanyahu and Abraham Poraz, the most radical liberal-capitalists in the Israeli politics. Orlev was unable to stop, halt or ease Netanyahu's economic plan which included many budget-cuts and downsizing of bureocrat and governmental bodies, as well as an intention to sell governmental firms to private hands (הפרטה). As a result, Orlev received hard criticism over his performance as Welfare Minister and his inability to take care of the week people in the Israeli society.
Orlev vs Eitam
Orlev is considered as the leader of the pragmatic faction of the Mafdal and the main opposition against Efi Eitam - the current leader of the Mafdal. Orlev and Eitam are bitter rivals - both on personal and political issues. While Eitam is an idealogy hardliner and unwilling to compromise for his beliefes, Orlev is a pragmatic who believe in "give and take" compromises in order to achieve the larger goals. While Eitam is a "non political" who "fell out of the sky" to the leadership of Mafdal, Orlev is a long-time Mafdal member with strong support among the "center" members and a master of inner-politics.
Orlev accuses Eitam on focusing only on the Israeli settlements issue, although Eitam also accused Orlev not only in backing-out on Gush Katif but also on his failure to take care of the religious services and solve the social-economical problems of Israel's poors.
Eitam accused Orlev at backing-out on Gush Katif settlements and that by staying in the government, Orlev giving Sharon the ability to remove them. Eitam claims that Mafdal must leave this "bad government" and not give it a hand in its political and economic plans. He described Orlev as a "Meimadnik" (member of left wing Religious Zionism) and as a "chair-addict".
Orlev replied that the only way to thwart Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of 2004 is to stay in the government and stall it from inside. He said that he is not a "leftist" and if there will be no way to prevent the dismantling of settlements, he will support quiting the government, but while there is still a chance, Mafdal must stay in the government - not only to thwart the removal of settlements - but also to protect other interests of Mafdal - such as education, religion services and Yeshivot Hesder. Orlev said that Mafdal must not give in for Eitam's massianic and nationalist zeal.
Source: The letter of Eitam versus the letter of Orlev (http://www.nrg.co.il/online/11/ART/782/089.html) (Hebrew)
See also: Current status of Mafdal.
Knesset and government record
- 15th Assembly of the Knesset:
- won the award of Best legistlator.
- Chairman of Education and Culture Committee.
- Member of 6 other committees.
- 16th Assembly of the Knesset:
- From 03/03/2003 Minister of Labor and Social Welfare שר העבודה והרווחה
- Zevulun Orlev page on the Knesset website (http://www.knesset.gov.il/mk/eng/mk_eng.asp?mk_individual_id_t=194)
- Orlev's Medal of Distinguish Service and the story behind it (http://www.aka.idf.il/iturim/asp/displayOneSoldier.asp?doc_ID=28879) (IDF Manpower website)