Nationalist Critics: Mayor Nir Barkat has Turned to the Left
The Chairman of the East Jerusalem Public Complaints Bureau, Aryeh King, affiliated with the National Union-National Religious Party, castigated the decision of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to appoint left-wing Meretz party council member Meir Margalit to handle the ultra-sensitive East Jerusalem file in the municipality.
“It has become clear that the Mayor is a dangerous left-wing supporter. This disproves any attempts to 'paint him orange' [the color theme of the secular and religious activity against the Gush Katif expulsion, ed.] or associate him with the right-wing. Anyone who appoints a Meretz representative is not in the right-wing.”
King warns that Barkat may yet endanger the city. “He is of the dangerous type, like Olmert and Sharon, like those who pose as innocent. Barkat has swerved to the left, and has therefore appointed a Meretz rep.”
According to King, Barkat acts on behalf of the Arabs in Jerusalem:
”Barkat will not sign East Jerusalem demolition orders against illegal construction. He refuses to allocate funds to bring tourists to the Mount of Olives. The Mayor cancels construction plans at the North Jerusalem Atarot industrial zone. The system is helmed in by the [now] left activist, Nir Barkat. He belongs to the Peace Now camp, and wants to divide the city with the Palestinians. It’s time we learn from getting constantly slapped in the face, and stop believing leaders who don a skullcap before elections and embrace rabbis.”
Aryeh King has recently opposed the legalizationof 95% of some 200 illegal Arab structures in the East Jerusalem Silwan neighborhood. he has also opposed the construction of a commercial center on the Mount of Olives, in the heart of biblical Jerusalem, and the construction of a large mosque near the gravesite of the late PM Menachem Begin which has been suspended as a result.
Municipal Council member, lawyer Yair Gabbai, and the Jerusalem municipality representative on the Planning and Zoning District Committee, calls upon the city’s religious Zionist voters to boycott Barkat after his decision:
”He has broken all of his pre-election promises. This appointment was to go to right-wing rep Yakir Segev, but Barkat signed a coalition deal with Meretz and intends to appoint Dr. Meir Margalit to the position instead.”
Gabbai claims that Margalit belongs to the extreme left-wing:
“He leads the Committee against the Demolishing of Homes, an organization that supports a boycott of Israel, and rebuilds East Jerusalem court-order demolished homes. He will be in a position to approve or deny demolishing in East Jerusalem, and this is a severe conflict of interests. From now on, the municipality representative on any possible forum will be a Meretz man in favor of the division of the city. He has been defaming the State of Israel for years, and will now decide on East Jerusalem projects. The Mayor has made a ‘left turn’, and the public should relate to him accordingly.”
The Meretz left-wing party that Dr. Meir Margalit belongs to, supports a Palestinian state, the dismantling of most of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, and the division of Jerusalem.
The Mayor has defended the unity of Jerusalem in the past, especially with regard to the building freeze insisted upon by US President Obama. The Mayor’s office has not yet issued a response to the council members critique.