Friday, October 18, 2013

Jerusalem Municipal Elections

It;s election time again. Next Tuesday Jerusalem residents will have the opportunity to vote for the mayor and city council.

Unlike the last time around, I'm not to emotionally involved in these elections. I am not excited about voting for or against somebody. Nir Barkat turned out to be a pretty good mayor. As far as I can tell, he has dealt fairly with the various different population sectors here in Jerusalem.

Barkat's main rival in these elections is Moshe Leon. It has been said that politics makes strange bedfellows. Here in Israel, political arch-enemies Arye Deri and Avigdor Lieberman joined forces to run Moshe Leon against Barkat. Leon seems to be a decent guy, but he is an outsider (from Givatayim) who only recently moved here. It is hard for me to get excited about such a candidate, even if he wears a kippah on his head.

The elections for the council also leave very little to be excited about. The National Religious public is running under (at least) two parties. One party is the Bayit Yehudi. The other is the United Jerusalem list headed by Shmuel Shekedi and Arye King. United Torah Judaism has splintered into three different parties: UTJ, Bnei Torah and Tov. Shas remains united and I expect them to do well in the elections. Unity usually pays off.

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