Last week Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion took a hit after the publication of Aryeh Deri’s statement on the race for Jerusalem’s mayor and what it means for national politics. This week Moshe Lion’s team have gone on the offensive, and are taking a shot at mayoral incumbent Nir Barkat.
Shas’s Aryeh Deri and Yisrael Beteinu’s Avigdor Liberman are strongly supporting Moshe Lion for the position of mayor of Jerusalem, in what is part of a larger battle in national coalition politics.
Aryeh Deri’s backing of Lion has hurt the candidate in National-Religious circles, where Deri is not looked upon favorably.
Since the death of Rav Ovadia, Shas is a less than united party, and there exists opportunities for outsiders to exploit those deep divisions and dislike of Aryeh Deri by many of those within the Shas party. The politically astute Aryeh Deri is in a weakened political position due to the death of the party’s spiritual head, and he needs this win to consolidate his power base around him.
Channel 2 reported on a recording of Kobi Kahlon, Barkat’s #4 on his City Council list, offering a Shas official control over the Hareidi Education portfolio and other committees in exchange for Shas’s support in the elections.
Lion’s people say this is proof that Barkat is selling out the residents of Jerusalem for the Chareidi vote.
Others might use the phrase “divide and conquer”.
JewishPress.com received the following quote from a spokesperson in the Moshe Lion campaign:
“Finally, Barkat’s true face has been revealed. While he accuses others of secret deals that don’t exist, except in his imagination, he is behind closed doors offering a blank cheque to the Haredim if they will just support him. This conversation represents merely the tip of the iceberg and is widely representative of the type of crooked conversations that have been taking place over the last few months and have already secured Barkat significant Haredi support. Just as he won the last election through backroom deals with the Haredim, Barkat is hoping to buy the elections at the expense of the residents of Jerusalem.”
Elections are on Tuesday.