"Grösse brüder,!" "Big Brother..."in Yiddish. That was supposed to be the phrase that would save the Porush campaign last night..
Big Brother is the most popular reality show on Israeli TV. It airs on Tuesday nights between 9 pm-10p.m. The last hour that the polls to elect Jerusalem's new mayor were open. Porush campaign workers interviewed on Channel 1 TV at 9p.m were repeating the mantra, "Grösse brüder," hoping that secular Israelis would stay home to watch the latest episode rather than shlep out to the polls to vote for Porush's opponent before they closed.
In the end, "Grösse brüder" didn't help Meir Porush, the ultra-orthodox candidate who appears to have lost to the secular Nir Barkat by a gap of 8% according to the projections.(Porush's people are insisting (at 11:45 p.m) the polls are mistaken an their man will ultimately be mayor of Jerusalem)
Turnout in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was a paltry 42%, while more than 80% of Bedouin voters came out to cast their ballots in the south.
Official results will only be available on Wednesday morning, but it seems that the people have spoken and Jerusalem will open a fresh page in its history with the election of a high tech millionaire who has never held elected office...