Religion and State in Israel – Jerusalem Municipal Elections – September 15, 2008 (Section 3)

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Religion and State in Israel

Jerusalem Municipal Elections

September 15, 2008 (Section 3) (continued from Section 1 & Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

Can a Zionist be mayor of J’lem?

Click here for VIDEO September 15, 2008

Video analysis on the fascinating mayoral race in the Jewish world’s capital by Elliot Jager, Editorial Page Editor of The Jerusalem Post

Gaydamak likely to surrender Jerusalem mayoral race to Deri

Haaretz and Channel 2 September 10, 2008

Click here for VIDEO

Oi, Jerusalem Editorial September 11, 2008

Can a Zionist be elected mayor of Israel’s capital?

The capital of Israel begs for a Zionist mayor who understands that talk of an undivided Jerusalem is hypocritical when services and infrastructure in Arab neighborhoods are scandalously inferior.

In theory, such a mayor can easily be elected because the ultra-Orthodox comprise just 20% of the city’s population and 30% of its Jews.

The haredim’s advantage is that practically 100% of their eligible voters turn out to vote for the candidates endorsed by their spiritual leaders. 

In contrast, less than half of the non-haredi voters bestir themselves to cast a ballot, and often split their vote.

It is intolerable that our capital be administered by anyone who does not wholeheartedly embrace the ethos of Israeli society. Jerusalem deserves a mayor who embodies tolerance and a respect for tradition, someone who will distribute resources on the basis of fairness and pluralism.

Someone who won’t feel uneasy when the national anthem is sung.

The majority rules – but only if it bothers to vote.

Deri may ask court to let him run for mayor

By Tomer Zarchin, September 14, 2008

Aryeh Deri is considering asking the Jerusalem District Court for a declarative verdict that would enable him to run for mayor of Jerusalem despite having been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude, Haaretz has learned.

By law, Deri’s conviction for taking bribes prevents him from holding or running for high office.

If the Shas politician does file such a petition, this would be the first time the Israeli court system has ever discussed sanctioning an electoral bid by a politician convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. 

A legal source well-versed in the case said that in such an event, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz would be expected to state his position on the petition in court.

Elections panel chairman will not rule on Deri appeal

By Etgar Lefkovits and Matthew Wagner, September 11, 2008

The chairman of the Central Elections Committee said Wednesday he has no authority to determine whether former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri can run for Jerusalem mayor on November 11.

“The issue does not fall within the role of the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, and apparently is beyond his authority,” former Supreme Court justice Eliezer Rivlin wrote in a two-page decision.

Two key rabbis support Deri in run for Jerusalem mayor

By Yair Ettinger, September 10, 2008

His decision to attempt a comeback was further solidified after consulting yesterday with two religious parties’ spiritual leaders: Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv of United Torah Judaism and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef of Shas.

Both rabbis gave him their blessing to run for mayor, despite the hopes of MK Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism to gain the support of ultra-Orthodox rabbis and win the election. 

We don’t need a Deri

By Uri Orbach, Opinion September 10, 2008

Now let’s take a look at the National-Religious community, which is preparing for the next elections at this time.

Well, don’t start yawning yet.

The question hovering above the endless speculations regarding the new party list is “why don’t we also have one Aryeh Deri?”

That is, somebody who can head the Religious Zionist party list and regain the honor which this community deserves.

‘King Deri’ makes a comeback

By Matthew Wagner, September 11, 2008

“I think Aryeh’s comeback is good for Shas and good for the Sephardi population,” Communications Minister Ariel Atias told Army Radio after Deri’s plans to run for mayor became known. 

“He brings us a lot of pride.”

It is difficult for people who have worked with Deri to put their finger on the secret of his magnetism. 

Kabbalist Yitzhak Batzri of Jerusalem’s Shalom Yeshiva, where Deri once studied, has a mystical explanation:

“Some Jews’ souls are bigger than others. Deri has the type of soul that enables him to connect to a large and diverse group of people. It also gives him special powers and charisma.

His soul came into this world to do great things. Great Jewish leaders like King David have his type of soul.”

A run on city hall?

By Jeff Barak, Opinion September 14, 2008

The writer is a former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post.

 It is unpalatable that someone convicted of abusing the public’s trust should once more seek to get his hands on public coffers, and the thought that Jerusalem, of all cities, should be run by an ex-con is simply unconscionable.

Gaydamak hints at run with Deri in J’lem mayoral race

By Etgar Lefkovits, September 15, 2008

Billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak on Sunday voiced support for the potential candidacy of former Shas leader Aryeh Deri in the Jerusalem mayoral race, and seemed to suggest cooperating with him in the upcoming municipal elections.

“It will be a great honor for me to run with Aryeh Deri in the elections,” Gaydamak said, during a visit to Jerusalem’s Bikur Holim Hospital, which he owns. 

“He is a great man, but I only know him from saying hello and from weddings.”

The wild card

By Peggy Cidor, September 11, 2008

“I always thought that Deri would return to politics. He is the best and I have promised myself that just as I escorted him to jail then, I will accompany him now, into Kikar Safra, as mayor of Jerusalem,” 

Zaka emergency rescue organization head Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, who is an Ashkenazi haredi, said this week.

‘Residents grasp danger of haredi mayor’

By Etgar Lefkovits, September 11, 2008

Jerusalem opposition leader Nir Barkat said Thursday he expects the secular, traditional and modern Orthodox voter turnout to be the surprise of the November mayoral election.

“Jerusalem residents care about what is happening in the city, and they understand the danger of another term for a haredi candidate,” Barkat said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

“Today the modern Orthodox camp understands that the Zionist movement has to be united,” Barkat said.

Last time, less than 40% of the non-haredi sector voted, and the modern Orthodox voted heavily for Lupolianski. 

Now, Barkat is the front-runner, but the polls have been fickle in the past; in 2003, he also led in the surveys.

Is Lupolianski really out of the race?

By Etgar Lefkovits, September 14, 2008

Less than two months before the Jerusalem mayoral race, the identity of the final haredi candidate – or candidates – in the election still remains murky.

Officially, MK Meir Porush of the United Torah Judaism Party has been anointed the party’s successor to Mayor Uri Lupolianski.

Yet speculation about his intentions hasn’t died down.

Disgrace has no limits

Haaretz Editorial September 11, 2008

Aryeh Deri should not be the mayor of Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, not now and not in the future, regardless of the period of unsuitability determined by law, because he took bribes.

Deri is unworthy of being mayor

By Shahar Ilan, Opinion September 9, 2008

Deri is now returning to his old ways, again defying the rule of law.

He knows that Israel’s leading jurists are virtually unanimous in their view that the legal canon will not allow him to run for mayor.

He has not, as might be expected of a public figure, approached Central Elections Committee Chairman Eliezer Rivlin to cast a decisive ruling on the matter.

Instead, he has consistently behaved as if the only authorization that matters is that offered by Ovadia Yosef. 

Plan to improve Jerusalem aims to attract non- ultra- Orthodox

By Uzi Benziman, September 14, 2008

The main recommendation of a program to rehabilitate Jerusalem is to increase the number of educated and employed Jewish residents in the capital by 100,000 by the year 2020.

The program’s planning stages are nearing completion. The plan will also recommend that the resources necessary to accomplish this goal be diverted from those provided to the ultra-Orthodox community.

The plan, known as Vision for Jerusalem, is being formulated by a large group of experts and public figures. It is sponsored by the Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

Vision for Jerusalem will be presented as a rescue mission for the city at the United Jewish Communities General Assembly, which will convene in Jerusalem in two months. 

From whom do we need to save Jerusalem?

By Uzi Benziman, Opinion September 14, 2008

“Vision for Jerusalem – A Plan for the Rehabilitation of Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel”

The plan to save Jerusalem does not hesitate to characterize the city’s ultra-Orthodox population as the main factor leading to its deterioration; it thus proposes an affirmative-action policy that would favor the secular and moderate-religious residents and push the Haredi communities outside the city’s boundaries. 

…In judging his candidacy, the public ought to consider Deri’s indebtedness toward Shas and the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox rabbinic sector, particularly at a time when Jerusalem needs a worthy leader for the years to come, someone who will lead the city in a direction proposed by the “Vision for Jerusalem.”

The new Jerusalemites

By David Stromber, September 15, 2008

A group of non-haredi residents – religious and secular – have banded together and created a new political group, Yerushalmim, in the hope of improving quality of life in the capital by earning seats on the next city council.

The mayor’s perceived inability to address the mounting frustrations of the city’s non-haredi residents, which includes both secular and religious people, has led to political awareness and union among this mixed population to oppose what they feel are purely haredi interests.

“There’s no representation for religious and secular people,” says Rachel Azaria Fraenkel, a longtime activist and organizer.

Religion and State in Israel

Jerusalem Municipal Elections

September 15, 2008 (Section 3) (continued from Section 1 & Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

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