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Zevulun Orlev
Zevulun Orlev.jpg
Date of birth 9 November 1945 (1945-11-09) (age 64)
Place of birth Rehovot, Mandate Palestine
Knessets 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th
Party The Jewish Home
Former parties National Religious Party
Ministerial posts
(current in bold)
Minister of Welfare & Social Services

Zevulun Orlev (Hebrew: זבולון אורלב‎, born 9 November 1945) is an Israeli politician and a former leader of the National Religious Party. He was Minister of Welfare & Social Services (March 2003 - November 2004), and is currently a Member of the Knesset for the The Jewish Home party. Orlev is a decorated war hero who received the Medal of Distinguished Service in the Yom Kippur War.



Born in Rehovot, Orlev studied humanities and social sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, before training to be a teacher at Moreshet Yaakov College. During his national service he became a Sergeant, and was awarded a Medal of Distinguished Service for valour during the Yom Kippur War. He later worked as Director General of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Director General of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Orlev lives in Jerusalem's Givat Mordechai neighborhood with his wife, Nira. They have four children.

Political career

He was first elected to the Knesset in the 1999 elections on the National Religious Party list. After being re-elected in the 2003 elections, Orlev was appointed Minister of Welfare and Social Services in Ariel Sharon's government. During the crisis in the party over the Gaza disengagement plan, Orlev led the camp which believed staying in the government, rather than leaving the coalition, was the best option. In response, NRP leader Effi Eitam called Orlev a "Meimadnik". When Eitam and Yitzhak Levy quit the government in 2004, Orlev and many NRP members refused to leave the coalition. Orlev then succeeded in taking control of the party, resulting in Eitam and Levy leaving to form the Renewed Religious National Zionist Party (since renamed Ahi), which would later join the National Union.

Orlev was re-elected in the 2006 elections. Prior to the 2009 elections the NRP was dissolved and its members joined the Jewish Home. Orlev won second place on the new party's list, and retained his seat in the subsequent elections.

In 2009 the Knesset debated a Private Members Bill proposed by Orlev, providing for imprisonment of anyone who denied that Israel was a Jewish and democratic state. The bill passed its preliminary reading.[1]


  1. ^ Uri Avnery, CounterPunch, 2 June 2009, A Fascist Odor of the New Coalition: Racists for Democracy

External links



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