Last November, Moshe Lion was elected Mayor of Jerusalem, narrowly defeating Ofer Berkovitch in a runoff vote two weeks earlier.
Running against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s much-anticipated Middle East peace plan – which had originally been slated for release sometime in late 2018 to early 2019, but was delayed after new elections were called in Israel – Lion vowed to increase housing construction across the Israeli capital; a local policy with significant implications internationally.
Now, 10 days after Israel’s general election and ahead of the release of the Trump administration’s plan, Lion seems confident that he will be able to pursue ‘unrestricted’ construction policies in Jerusalem, adding that based on his talks with US officials, the Trump plan will not affect the Israeli capital city.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Lion laid out his agenda for Jerusalem, and his plans for a wave of new construction across the city.
“My job is to ensure that every resident feels that he or she is getting what they deserve from the city, regardless of what sector of the population he or she is from.”
“But beyond that, I know what I want to accomplish, I know which projects the city needs – and the most important thing is to build, and I cannot do that alone. I need the Israeli government standing behind me, because we need a Jewish majority here, and we need to end the net negative migration. We need more young couples to move here.”
In stark contrast to the Obama administration, Lion is convinced the Trump White House will not interfere with Israeli housing projects in Jerusalem, and cited talks with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, saying the upcoming peace plan likely would not impact areas under consideration for expanded housing construction in eastern Jerusalem.
“I sat down with the US ambassador to Israel, and we discussed the issue. I think that in the coming years, we’ll build a great deal in Jerusalem, and there won’t be a need for restrictions in this matter.”