Moshe Lion
Moshe LionFlash 90

Thousands of people attended a rally thrown by the Shas and Degel Hatorah haredi parties on Thursday night in support of Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Leon.

The rally was attended by many of the haredi community's power brokers, including the Council of Torah Sages. Leon has the support of both Shas and Degel Hatorah but not the hassidic Agudat Yisrael. As haredim make up 40% of Jerusalem, it is considerably difficult to win city-wide elections without their support.

Four politicians are running to succeed outgoing Mayor Nir Barkat: Jerusalem Minister and Knesset member Ze’ev Elkin, former executive and current councilman Moshe Leon, former Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkovitch, and haredi candidate Yossi Deitch. Local businessman Avi Salman has also thrown his hat in the ring but is not expected to have a realistic shot at the top job; recent polls show him languishing in the low single digits.

While Leon had been lagging in the polls, recent surveys show him trailing 'Hitorerut' party head Ofer Berkovitch for the city's top job. A poll published by the Galey Yisrael radio station on Friday found Berkovitch leading with 30.7% of the vote, followed by Leon at 29.8% and 23.6% intending to vote for Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin.