Barkat transfers NIS 700,000 to leftist foundation

Jerusalem municipality transfers NIS 700,000 to association that finances, among other things, 'Pride Parades' and Women of the Wall.

Mordechai Sones ,

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat (L), Lynn Schusterman
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat (L), Lynn Schusterman
Flash 90

The Jerusalem Municipality transferred NIS 700,000 to Schusterman Foundation operations, which over the years has funded the "Pride Parades", the Women of the Wall Association, and an "Open House" for the gender disoriented.

The budget transfer was made in 2016, but only in recent days did it become clear the move was committed contrary to rules of proper administration. The disbursal was inserted in the municipal budget books and did not receive city council and required committee approval.

In a letter sent by City Comptroller Malka Dror to City Councilor Aryeh King, "the Culture and Art Department Director understands this is improper, and we will consider whether to examine further the broad range of considerations before us and in accordance with the priorities of the annual audit plan."

King, head of the Meuchadim party, said in response,"The Schusterman Foundation supports the Pride Parade, the Women of the Western Wall and the Open House, and the Jerusalem Municipality has found a creative and shameful way to support Foundation activities, which harm the sanctity of Jerusalem."

When the budget was transferred, King was a member of the Jerusalem city administration. "I realized this was a very improper procedure, and I submitted a protest to the Jerusalem municipality making a grab in broad daylight and budgeting activities of organizations trying in any way to harm the sanctity of Jerusalem.

"Municipality officials understood the haredi and religious parties would not allow the money to be transferred, so they decided to carry out a 'religious bypass operation' and transfer the money in improper ways," King added.

The Jerusalem Municipality said in response: "The Jerusalem Municipality has been cooperating with the Schusterman Foundation and with many other foundations for the benefit of Jerusalem and its residents for many years. The Schusterman Foundation contributes greatly to Birthright, cultural institutions, and many associations that strengthen the connection of Diaspora Jewry and young people to Jerusalem and Israel.

"King's attempt to create political spin is transparent and perverse, and totally far from reality. The fact that King issued a press release doesn't mean what's written in it is correct. The municipality will continue to work together with various organizations and bodies for Jerusalem," the reply said.