The elections for the Jerusalem City Council will be held on October 30, 2018.
Arutz Sheva presents the answers to three questions posed to the four main candidates for Jerusalem Mayor. All candidates were asked identical questions:
- What sets you apart from your competitors as a compelling reason to vote for you?
- Assuming you win and succeed in advancing and implementing everything on your platform, how do you envision Jerusalem in five years from now, both physically and culturally?
- And what would you say to the English-speaking voter or new immigrant to show them you understand their challenges and situations, and would be their right choice?
An immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Ze'ev Elkin was first elected to the Knesset in 2006 as part of the Kadima faction and joined the Likud in 2009. Currently Jerusalem Affairs Minister, he is considered especially close to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Elkin has stated that "first and foremost, I unequivocally support expanding the boundaries of Greater Jerusalem, and I think that this is one of the ways to achieve a fundamental solution to promote construction in Jerusalem."
What sets you apart from your competitors as a compelling reason to vote for you?
"I have far greater experience, and have enjoyed more success in establishing effective working relationships with decision makers in government than any of the other candidates. The reality is that Jerusalem is also a national and international city and therefore its relationship with the national government is unlike any other city. I have relationships with the members of the national government. Others do not. I'll hit the ground running, working with this hard-earned trust. It takes years to build that trust, to build those relationships, and Jerusalem can’t afford for that time to be squandered on years of mistakes and inexperience until, maybe, there's a good working relationship.
"I've proven that, under my leadership, things on a large scale can be accomplished. I transformed the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs into a critical ministry, bringing to Jerusalem over 4B NIS of investment, all aimed towards achieving economic self-sufficiency. Jerusalem carries a 1b NIS debt, and it costs 150m NIS year just to stabilize the debt. Our financial health is critical to every other issue, and I'm the only candidate laser-focused on this point.
"Since making aliya almost 30 years ago I've focused on bridging gaps between people. I do it without fanfare. I've earned the respect of people across the political spectrum for being a man of my word, and for getting things done.
"I'm also the only candidate endorsed by the leadership of both the Likud and Bayit Yehudi parties. No one else has received the endorsements of PM Netanyahu, Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Ministers Bennet and Shaked, Natan Sharansky, Mayor Barkat, and so many MK’s, among others. They respect my ability to translate ideology into facts on the ground."
Assuming you win and succeed in advancing and implementing everything on your platform, how do you envision Jerusalem in five years from now, both physically and culturally?
"First, everything will happen much more rapidly than in any other 5- or 10-year period. We'll quickly cut through bureaucracy and red-tape. That alone will triple the speed of our accomplishments. An economic boom is about to be unleashed. You'll see five new industrial zones, numerous tunnels and bypass roads, new cultural centers, new centers for sport, and a huge increase in the supply of housing and educational infrastructure.
"The city is going to be much cleaner. We'll untangle overlapping portfolios and bring accountability to everything related to city cleanliness. There are going to be more efficient and incentivized public transportation options. Glistening office buildings buzzing with commercial activity will be built, creating thousands and thousands of jobs. These commercial centers will generate revenue for the city that will allow us to provide the residents with the quality of life that we all deserve.
"Jerusalem will be a city of shevet achim gam yachad – of true brotherhood. It forever was, and forever will be a city that belongs to no sector, and no tribe, rather is home to us all, working and living together. I envision exactly that."
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister Elkin visit Mechane Yehuda market, October 24, 2018 (Hebrew):
And what would you say to the English-speaking voter or new immigrant to show them you understand their challenges and situations, and would be their right choice?
"Four of our top seven candidates on the Jerusalem Will Succeed list are immigrants. We get it. We understand the value of long-term planning. We understand the value of win-win relationships. We understand the corrosive impact of bureaucracy and protectzia. We're looking for ways to help everyone. The only reason we're in office is to put the residents first.
"We have a five-point plan for acclimation for olim, from a dedicated, personalized counselor before they make aliya, continuing through the years after arriving here, working with schools, and workplaces, all to ensure successful absorption. Jerusalem will be known for being the most oleh-friendly, olah-helpful, and olim-embracing city in the country. Olim bring to Jerusalem both practical wisdom and a passion of actualizing dreams. People like that - olim - drive the engine of a city and, ultimately, a country. We're the party of Olim, and proudly so."
To see Arutz Sheva's interview with Yossi Deitch, click here.
To see Arutz Sheva's interview with Ofer Berkovitch, click here.
To see Arutz Sheva's interview with Moshe Leon, click here.
Rav Yosef Eliyahu endorses Ze'ev Elkin (Hebrew):