Former chief military rabbi, Rabbi Avichai Ronsky, has announced that he supports the candidacy of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat for a second term in office.
"I think Nir has done and is doing good things for Jerusalem,” wrote Rabbi Ronsky in his announcement of support for Barkat. Rabbi Ronsky, who is the Dean of Itamar Yeshiva, emphasized in the letter that he is not a political man and that in his support for Barkat, he does not represent a political party or group.
"The simple truth is that I support Nir Barkat,” he said.
Barkat's main rival in the race for mayor is Moshe Leon, who enjoys the support of Yisrael Beytenu and Shas. However, former mayor Uri Lupoliansky may also join the race soon.
Rabbi Ronsky's statement was issued against a backdrop of claims by the supporters of Moshe Leon, who said that the senior rabbis who had been presented as supporters of Barkat have not yet formed their opinions.
Barkat has received large scale support from religious Zionists in Jerusalem, and there are reports that members of Bayit Yehudi are also working behind the scenes to assist his reelection campaign. Rabbi Ronsky is considered very close to Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett.