Daily Israel Report

Leftists Unite Against Nationalist Jerusalem City Councillor

Radical organizations appear to be joining in call to remove Jerusalem council member Aryeh King from Mayor Barkat's coalition.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 11/7/2013, 9:01 PM

Aryeh King
Aryeh King
PR photo

Several leftist groups are apparently joining together in a call to remove religious-Zionist Aryeh King, a newly elected Jerusalem council member, from re-elected Mayor Nir Barkat's coalition which he joined last Friday.

One of the groups is Tag Meir (Bright Tag), an organization backed by the leftist New Israel Fund. Their Facebook page on Monday displayed a poster calling on Barkat to leave King out of the coalition, with the words "fighting racism" written provocatively in large letters.

An opinion article Thursday on Channel 2's website called for organizing social and political efforts aimed at removing "representatives of the political stream that hates" from positions of influence, listing King as one of its targets.

Chairperson of the radical left Meretz party in Jerusalem, Pepe Allalo, also chimed in on Tuesday, saying that he would be willing to sit in the coalition with anyone, except King, whom he labels "out of the consensus."

Allalo criticized Barkat for giving city council posts to hareidi-religious and religious-Zionist council members. Meretz and two other leftist groups have been left out of Barkat's coalition.

Meanwhile, King, whose "United Jerusalem" list won two seats in the recent elections, pledged on his Facebook page Wednesday night to use his position as Deputy Chairperson of the Emergency and Security Committee to ensure Jerusalem residents' safety.

He writes that the first mission he's given himself in the 2014 budget year is to have security cameras and security lighting placed in the area around Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, as well as in the general "seam" area between predominantly Jewish and predominantly Arab neighborhoods.

That area, which surrounds the campus, has seen a spike in Arab crime including fire bomb attacks. Nana reported Wednesday that the situation has led the IDF to forbid soldiers from entering or exiting its Mount Scopus base except in armed convoys.

Furthermore, King's presence on the Regional Planning and Building Committee is seen as a very good sign for the recently reported increase in enforcement of the building law against illegal Arab construction.

The united effort against King comes among similar attempts of attacking religious-Zionist political figures into silence.

Former MK Michael Ben-Ari, who recently took a teaching position at Ariel University, appears to be the victim of an organized campaign to have him removed from the university.

The campaign against Ben-Ari has produced several articles in the leftist media referencing "worried responses" from "citizens" who are actually well-known leftist activists.