Anti-haredi Tiberias mayor to run for Knesset

Mayor Ron Kobi presents himself as an alternative to Liberman, will run for Knesset as head of the 'Secular Right' party.

Sara Rubenstein ,

Ron Kobi
Ron Kobi
David Cohen/Flash90

Tiberias mayor Ron Kobi, known for his combative behavior and anti-haredi verbal attacks, is running in the upcoming elections for the 22nd Knesset. He registered his new party, The Secular Right, on Sunday. .

In early June, Kobi shared a poll on his Facebook page which indicated his interest in running against former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on the platform of opposition to religion and haredim. He presented his potential party as one that would support public transportation on Shabbat, cancel the Supermarket Law and coerce haredim to serve in the IDF. Of the 7,000 people who participated in the poll, 70% said they would support Kobi over Liberman.

Kobi, who was elected as mayor in October, has not yet been successful in passing a city budget or forming a coalition due to his clashes with the religious and haredi parties who refuse to cooperate with him. Last month, Kobi received a letter from the Interior Ministry that if he hasn't passed a budget by June 30, 2019, the ministry will end his term.

The letter said, "I appeal to you to make every effort to pass the budget in order not to be compelled to follow the procedures required by law as of the above date.”