Photo Essay: Municipal Elections in Jerusalem
Jerusalemites of all backgrounds may argue about who to vote for, but agree that in doing so, they hope to improve the city they love. Arutz Sheva offers a picture into the moments before the elections.
On Sunday evening, multiple candidates spoke at the Jerusalem 5800 kick-off event. The 30-year plan hoped to create a greater Jerusalem urban district which will encompass surrounding areas such as Maale Adumim, Beit Shemesh and more with a future plan for an international airport just outside Jerusalem's municipal boundaries.
On Tuesday evening a press center was set up at Kikar Safra, the city hall complex. Walter Bingham, the host of Israel National Radio's Walter's World was on hand to report from the scene. Mayor Nir Barkat and his Jerusalem Will Succeed party set up an election results headquarters near the newly opened First Train Station complex.
Moshe Lion, running for mayor on behalf of the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu faction, set up shop at Jerusalem's Ramada hotel. A diverse crowd packed the lobby awaiting the election results late into the night.
"We are all here, hareidi, secular, Ethiopian, Russian immigrants, French immigrants, because we can live together and care about Jerusalem," Dr. Avraham Negussie of Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu told Arutz Sheva. "We need to build more housing in all areas of the city and restructure to budget," he added.
Despite Tuesday's tension, Barkat as mayor and Lion as former head of the Jerusalem Development authority have worked together on many projects. They both attended the Sukkot Priestly Blessing in September at the Western Wall. The two greeted each other and shook hands.
Jerusalem residents could choose between three candidates for mayor: the incumbent Barkat, Lion and Haim Epstein of the Bnei Torah party.
There were sixteen parties to choose from for city council including, United Torah Judaism (comprised of Agudat Yisrael and Degel Hatorah), Hitorerut (Wake Up Jerusalem), Reshimot V'Tiki V'Gam (List of Veterans and Pensioners), Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home), Yerushalmim (Jerusalemites), Yesh Im Ehad (There is One), Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, Jerusalem Will Succeed, Meretz-Labor, Tov L'Yerushalayim ( Good for Jerusalem), Bnei Torah, Pisgat Ze'ev On the Map (a northern Jerusalem neighborhood), Ometz Lev (Courage and Heart), Yerushalayim Meuhedet (United Jerusalem), Shehunot V"Askim, (Neighborhoods and Businesses), and Shas.
All photos by Ben Bresky except where noted.