Likud minister: I aim to unite Jerusalem

Environmental Protection Minister Elkin assesses that Jerusalem mayoral race will be between himself and haredi candidate Yossi Deitch.

Hezki Baruch ,

Minister Elkin at Arutz Sheva event in Jerusalem
Minister Elkin at Arutz Sheva event in Jerusalem
Itzik Nissim

Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), who also serves as the Jerusalem Affairs Minister, spoke on Monday night at a conference hosted by Arutz Sheva and organized by Dr. Joseph Frager.

After speaking at the conference, Elkin told Arutz Sheva that he estimates the race for Jerusalem mayor will end up being between himself and haredi candidate Yossi Deitch.

"The picture we're seeing is that at the end of the day, I'll be running against haredi candidate Yossi Deitch," Elkin told Arutz Sheva. "I'm the only one of the candidates who has a good chance of beating a haredi candidate."

"Jerusalem will have to choose whether it prefers a haredi mayor or a Religious Zionist mayor who represents the traditional and secular communities as well as the haredim. I see myself as a candidate who does not aim to separate Jerusalem into different groups, but to unite the public so that we can deal with Jerusalem's real issues."

Elkin also said that the upcoming municipal elections are "critical" for Jerusalem's future and offer "a real opportunity for Religious Zionism to lead Jerusalem."

"This is an important flag, and it shows the historical significance of the change and the Religious Zionist community's strength in the city. I'm proud to be part of it," he said.

Emphasizing the widespread support for his candidacy and he fact that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also supports him, Elkin said, "This definitely helps, since it's clear that the Prime Minister has an influence on the public. It's natural and it was obvious that this would be the case. Many ministers and friends, from other parties as well, support me, and I feel like I'm on the road to victory."

Elkin also told Arutz Sheva the reason for his decision to run in Jerusalem's municipal elections.

"In my eyes, the city's future, and the enormous challenges it is facing are more important than any political job, as good a job as it may be," he said. "The Prime Minister, as well, invested more than a few hours in attempting to convince me to remain in the government. I told him that Jerusalem decides the future of the Jewish nation. The city's challenges influence not just today but also many years into the future. Jerusalem contains the State of Israel's future DNA. It's a great merit and a great responsibility to be part of this process."