Shas competing for Tel Aviv leadership

Tel Aviv city council member and Shas representative Natan Elnatan plans to run for mayor: 'Hard to be traditionalist in Tel Aviv.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Natan Elnatan
Natan Elnatan

Tel Aviv-Jaffa city council member and Shas representative Natan Elnatan today announced his intention to run for mayor in the October elections.

"I'm doing this out of the understanding that a large public in Tel Aviv feels that the city is changing rapidly and that today it's difficult to be a resident of the city and in particular a traditional Jewish resident," explained Elnatan.

He says he intends to return Tel Aviv to traditional lines. "As someone who grew up and lived in Tel Aviv, I remember times when the city had a place for everyone - even for those who wanted to live their lives according to tradition from their father's home."

Elnatan promises he will work to unite the various populations in the city. "We're in a time when various factors are encouraging a split. Therefore, I'm interested in continuing to lead steps that will bring unity among city residents and restore the old good atmosphere of the Tel Aviv of yesteryear.

"It seems the municipality has forgotten that alongside the international festivals and events taking place in the city and alongside large urban renewal projects, residents also see the entrepreneurial locomotive racing forward but they're in a detached car that's been left behind.

"Along with strong areas in Tel Aviv that enjoy the fruits of the momentum, there are entire communities in the south and center of the city that don't enjoy the basic services that the city has to provide."

He accused current Tel Aviv leadership of fighting everything that symbolizes Jewish tradition in the city. "I want that someone accustomed to receiving the Sabbath from their father's house with songs such as Lecha Dodi and Shalom Aleichem can do so without fearing city inspectors sent to silence the voices of our Jewish tradition.

"I've already received municipal orders to remove the loudspeakers that play Sabbath songs, but I don't intend to give in to the pressures of those who want to destroy the Jewish tradition in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv for many years maintained the status quo that's possible for everyone: haredi, traditional, secular, Jewish, and Arab, to live together. People with interests are trying to change this, but I'll fight to keep Tel Aviv open and accept them all," said Elnatan.