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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Nir Barkat’

Barkat Wins Tough Race in Capital

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Israel’s 183 local governments were elected on Tuesday as Israelis across the country voted to determine local mayors and council members. In Jerusalem, a city of 550,000 residents, Nir Barkat was re-elected to another 5-year term in one of the mostly hotly contested races in the country against newcomer Moshe Leon, who was backed by two national political figures.

Tel Aviv incumbent, Ron Huldai who has served at the city’s mayor since 1998 was also re-elected over popular Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, while in Haifa, Mayor Yona Yahav was able to defeat rival Yaakov Borovsky.  Israel’s three largest cities were able to retain their incumbent mayors.

Bat Yam also re-elected Mayor Shlomo Lahiani, who had been forced to resign his position by the High Court of Justice on Sunday.

In Jerusalem, Barkat had lead the way, with 55% of the votes while rival Moshe Lion garnered 41%, a difference of around some 12,000 votes.  Lion’s backer Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman had hoped a Lion victory would give him political momentum to challenge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s leadership, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Voter turn-out in Jerusalem was relatively low (35.9%) while higher than Tel Aviv’s 31%. In general, voter turn-out is traditionally much lower than national elections.

According to Israel’s Ministry of Interior, the country’s highest voter turnout was seen in Arab cities, with voter turnout in Kfar Kara at 94%, Saknin, 78% and Hurfeish with 77%.

Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat delivered his victory speech in the wee hours of the morning. At 3:45 AM, he spoke at a Jerusalem club, telling supporters that “Jerusalem was victorious.”

Barkat promised that he “won’t leave any sector, any tribe behind” and that “there’s a lot more work to do” in the next five years of his term. Thanking residents for their votes in a tough re-election campaign, Barkat stated that “I want to hug all the residents of Jerusalem.”

Moshe Lion Claims Dirty Politics by Barkat’s Team in Jerusalem Race

Monday, October 21st, 2013

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.

Polls Put Barkat in the Lead in Jerusalem Mayoral Race

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Mayor Nir Barkat would win re-election for mayor with 47 percent of the vote, compared with 41 percent for challenger Moshe Leon, according to a new poll carried out by the Smith Institute and published Thursday.

Although Barkat has a solid lead, it is far smaller than anyone imagined when Leon, a virtual unknown from the metropolitan Tel Aviv to city of Givatayim, tossed his hat in the ring.

Leon has won the support of Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beitenu faction of Likud-Beiteinu, and MK Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi religious party.

The elections will be held next Tuesday.

Jerusalem’s Arabs Support Arieh King

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Even as the Channel 2 Television Authority refused to run Arieh King’s political commercial, in which he stated he wants to block Jerusalem’s “moazins” from blasting prayers over the loudspeakers at all hours, King ran a parlor meeting in the home of Awaida Yunis in the neighborhood of Wadi Kadum in Jerusalem, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

King, a well known pro-Israel activist, is running for Jerusalem city council in the upcoming elections, representing Jerusalem’s  periphery neighborhoods, including the one he lives in.

But while other candidates for mayor and city council have been meeting with various rabbis, King has been busy meeting the Muchtars (clan leaders) of the various Arab neighborhoods.

Yunis who hosted the parlor meeting said that while he doesn’t support all of King’s political agendas, this election is about services, and he want eastern Jerusalem to receive the same quality of services that the west side of town receives.

Yunis said that his neighborhood of 1500 Arabs will all go out to vote for King, whom they believe will work to clean up their neighborhoods, and improve municipal services.

King said that most of the Jerusalem’s Arabs want to remain under Israeli sovreignity, and that his party “United Jerusalem” will fight to make sure it stays that way.

King added that he has been working for years with his Arab neighbors to improve the cleanliness of the streets and increase local security.

King promised his listeners that he will work to build more parks and schools in the Arab neighborhoods.

Mayor’s Election Promo Omits United Jerusalem

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Municipal elections will be held in nearly every city in Israel in less than a month, and the race in the capital, Jerusalem, is especially heated.

As has been the case for the last few elections in the Holy City, one of the main issues is which candidate will better protect its unity and Jewish sovereignty. Perhaps a better way of putting it, now that Aryeh King has dropped out of the race, which candidate will more endanger these precious values? For neither the incumbent mayor, Nir Barkat, nor his main rival, Likud-backed Moshe Lyon, has shown undying loyalty to the city’s all-Jewish and all-Israeli status.

Given that the Arab world does not cease chiseling away at the world’s perception of Yerushalayim as historically Jewish, and insists on receiving half the city in any future diplomatic arrangement, strong mayoral backbone on this matter is particularly essential.

Evidence of this sorry state of affairs abounds. Mayor Barkat, with a strong background in economics, has released a 90-second video promo, in which he outlines his plans for the city in various spheres of action: Economic growth, sports, culture, education, helping the outlying neighborhoods, new classrooms for the Arab sector – yet the promo includes not a single word about keeping Jerusalem united, whole, and under Israeli sovereignty.

Yes, the narrator does say at one point, “We will continue to … strengthen the status of Yerushalayim as the capital – ” but then adds, “of sports in Israel.”

King, a well-known activist on behalf of Jewish settlement throughout Jerusalem, has long criticized what he feels is Barkat’s desire to split the city. He notes that Barkat began his political career in the now-practically defunct left-wing Kadima party, “and has taken the path of its founder, Ariel Sharon. He has caused great harm to the seamline neighborhoods and the Old City, and is leading to a split in the city….”

Sadly, there is no strong indication that candidate Lyon will be any better. Though he is religiously observant and is strongly identified with the Likud party, his platform does not mention any plans to guarantee the political future of the city.

A top accountant, Lyon’s national governmental activity has been limited to economic matters, not diplomacy. His opponents lose no opportunity to note that he is backed by Shas party leader MK Aryeh Deri and Yisrael Beitenu leader MK Avigdor Lieberman: Deri is known as a supporter and even facilitator of the Oslo process, while Lieberman is alleged to have called for the transfer of Arab-populated neighborhoods of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.

While Lyon is backed by the haredi parties, Barkat has been endorsed by leading religious-Zionist rabbis such as Rabbis Chaim Druckman, Shlomo Aviner, Eitan Eisemann, and Avichai Ronsky.

Four religious parties are fielding candidate lists for the Jerusalem Municipal Council, though not for mayor, in the upcoming elections. United Torah Judaism, the largest faction in the municipality with eight council seats, has unleashed a catchy campaign slogan: “We need you for a tenth,” as in a minyan – referring to the party’s ambition to grow to 10 council seats.

“Our eight UTJ municipal representatives work for you non-stop with great dedication,” the party literature states, “but this time, so that they won’t be able to ignore us and so that a governing coalition won’t be formed without us, eight is just not enough. We need no fewer than ten representatives on the municipal council. It’s up to you.”

Shas is running as well, as are two (!) religious-Zionist lists. Naftali Bennett, a rookie politician who led his Jewish Home party to impressive success in the national elections, failed to maintain harmony in the party’s Jerusalem chapter. He parachuted Dov Kalmanovitz (the first victim of the first intifada) to the top of the party list – and though Kalmanovitz is well-respected, his abrupt arrival on the scene in that manner caused great consternation among much of the party faithful.

The split-off was not long in coming, with a breakaway list headed by Shmuel Shakdi. This latter has strong support – including from Aryeh King, who gave up his own mayoral ambitions and joined up as the party’s number-two. “On behalf of unity in the city and in the pro-Jerusalem camp,” King explained, “we have joined forces – those who love Jerusalem and those who love the Torah.”

In the shadow of the stormy city elections, a small but significant step was taken this past week toward a permanent Jewish presence even in “contested” parts of the city. A Jewish-owned property surrounded by Arab tenants, many of them illegal, received its own road in an informal dedication ceremony during Sukkot.

The event was sponsored by Yitzchak Herskovitz, 82, who has spent virtually all of his last 20 years fighting in court a clan of illegal Arab squatters on his property. The plot is located in Arab-populated Beit Tsafafa, adjacent to the major north-south city artery Derekh Hevron as well as the Jewish neighborhood Givat HaMatos. Herskovitz, a feisty former Californian who does not know the meaning of the word “surrender,” has single-handedly prevented a prime piece of Jerusalem real estate from being permanently taken over by a gang of Arabs who lack even a legal permit to be in Israel.

The specific milestone event he commemorated this past holiday was a notable one: The naming and dedication of a new, private road to the otherwise land-locked property. The road is still just a rocky dirt path, essentially unusable for motor vehicles; not only that, it is on property owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. But because it has been used as a walking route to the property for many decades – Herskovitz has aerial photos from the 1930s attesting to this – a court has ruled the church cannot prevent Herskovitz from using it to access his property.

As Herskovitz told some 30 friends and supporters, including Nadia Matar and Aryeh King, who assembled in the sukkah on his property, “the court decision affirms my legal right to obtain a permit to straighten the road and pave it with asphalt – which I plan to do, with God’s help, as soon as possible.”

The name of the new road? “Orchot Tzadikim” – Paths of the Righteous.

Want to help keep Jerusalem Jewish and united under Israeli sovereignty? KeepJerusalem.org invites you to participate in our bus tours of eastern and northern Jerusalem. For information, e-mail tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit our website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

Eli Yishai to Not Run for Jerusalem Mayor

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

MK Eli Yishai, the former head of the Shas party has decided he will not be running for mayor of Jerusalem, according to a report in the Israeli, Chareidi La’Daat website.

Yishai was the political head of the Shas party until Shas’s spiritual leader, Rav Ovadia Yosef, kicked him out and replaced him with Aryeh Deri. Following the completion of Aryeh Deri’s prison sentence, Deri had a cooling-off period before he could return to the politics.

Upon Deri’s going to prison, Yishai replaced Deri for 13 years, during which time Yishai ran Shas as a responsible and effective political party.

Associates of Yishai said that he had been considering challenging incumbant mayor Nir Barkat for the position in the upcoming race, but in the end Yishai has decided he wants to remain working in the national politics, and still within the Shas party.

As the Minister of the Interior in former governments, Yishai earned the reputation of being an honest person and a politician who did his job well.

Currently no candidates have announced their decision to challenge Nir Barkat for position of mayor of Jerusalem.

VIDEOS: Formula 1 Racing Through Jerusalem

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

We just got back from the Formula 1 event in Jerusalem.

It was loud. It was fast. It was awesome.

The kids loved it.

Thank you Mayor Nir Barkat.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/videos-formula-1-in-jerusalem/2013/06/13/

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