reality TV program star Yossi Bublil made an alliance with “Friedmans” on Thursday, running for Knesset with Calcala, bringing the American led party unprecedented attention.
Also on Thursday, two fake Facebook accounts for popular Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon endorsed the relatively unknown Calcala Party and referred to its leader Daniel Goldstein as a close friend.
Calcala was founded earlier this year by brothers Daniel and Benny Goldstein, mattress importers who hail from Maine, as an economy-focused party using American ideas.
Bublil, who came in second place on the first season of Big Brother and is now in the third spot on the Calcala candidates list, is known for his colorful language and coined the derogatory term “Friedmans” for Ashkenazi Jews.
The Goldsteins and Bublil all live in Ashkelon. Benny Goldstein said he was not aware that his neighbor is famous, though he called Bublil “known and beloved” and a “reality star” in the statement he sent to the press on Thursday.
“What American watches Big Brother?” Goldstein asked. “We just knew Bublil is smart, decent and practical.
He’s a contractor that comes to talk to us with paint on his clothes and shoes.”
Meanwhile, Bublil used the imaginative metaphors that made him famous, saying “I’m not a wolf or a rabbit but a spur that will make it with Calcala. I have no doubt we will surprise everyone in this election.”
Bublil explained that as a contractor and businessman, the economy is a topic close to his heart, and he hopes to fight the “suffering and hardship” Israeli business owners face.
“In Israeli politics, if you don’t shout, no one hears you. I think that since I am well known, I can help [Calcala],” he said.
Meanwhile, Goldstein claimed not to know about two fake Facebook accounts for Kahlon, who was the subject of a media frenzy last week surrounding rumors he might leave the Likud.
The two almost-identical Facebook accounts featured the following status on Thursday: “To my friend Daniel Goldstein, I was happy to hear of your decision to leave the US and run in the Israeli election with the new party Calcala. Your job is to stand with the citizens. Good luck.”
Another status quoted a statement by Kahlon from earlier this week that he is remaining in the Likud, but added: “My dear friend Mr.
Daniel Goldstein, who decided to run in the election as the chairman of the Calcala Party. I wish him much luck and invite him to join [the Likud] in the coalition.”
Benny Goldstein denied Calcala had anything to do with the fake Facebook pages, but soon after said a party activist created them without consulting him or his brother, and they would be taken down in a few minutes.
Hours later, the pages were still active, and an article on Bublil’s decision to join the party was posted on one of them.
Goldstein claimed he and Kahlon met recently, and became good friends.
“I don’t know anything about the Facebook pages; that’s not our style,” he said.
“We might to unordinary things in our campaign, but this is not us.”
Kahlon’s spokesman said the minister does not have a Facebook page, and would not comment on the fake accounts.