The deadline for parties to submit lists of candidates in the October 22
municipal elections passed ahead of Succot, with Bayit Yehudi submitting more
officially sanctioned lists than any other party.
Bayit Yehudi submitted
85 lists of candidates nationwide, more than the 60 each submitted by Labor and
the Likud and the 46 by Yisrael Beytenu.
The 85 lists are the most ever
submitted by the party or its predecessor the National Religious Party, which is
currently represented by 78 council members in 48 local
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett’s goal is to
strengthen the party’s presence in the periphery via the election of its
candidates for mayor in Kiryat Malachi and Sderot, Lalo Zohar and Alon Davidi,
respectively. The party is also putting an emphasis on young candidates, putting
first on its lists 25-year-old Raphael Trabelsi in Tiberias, 29-year-old Amichai
Siboni in Ashkelon and 29- year-old Moti Haziza in Mevaseret Zion.
will fight to improve the lives of the people in the periphery with Bayit
Yehudi’s values and Jewish identity,” the party’s director-general Nir Orbach
There will be elections in 191 local authorities in which
5,469,041 people will have the right to vote, including 553,668 people for the
Unlike national elections in which the minimum voting age is
18, in municipal elections, 17-year-olds can vote.
are held every five years.
There will be elections for the first time in
10 years in Bnei Brak after United Torah Judaism was the only party to submit a
list of candidates in the 2008 election.
In Bnei Brak, a new hardline
haredi party is running against UTJ for the first time for the municipal council
and for mayor as well.
The Bnei Torah-Netzach party, representing a
faction of the non-hassidic haredi community which is loyal to Rabbi Shmuel
Auerbach, is contesting the elections due to a feeling within the splinter group
that it and its views are being ignored by the main stream UTJ party.
UTJ official told The Jerusalem Post that he believed Bnei Torah would get no
more than two or three seats on the 25-member council.
Torah’s list is Haim Ruhamkin, one of the founders of a new haredi newspaper,
Hapeles, which serves as a mouthpiece for Auerbach’s loyalists, known as the
The UTJ source said it was still possible Ruhamkin
would withdraw his candidacy from the mayoral race and that in the mean time UTJ
was not commenting on the developments.
UTJ’s candidate for mayor is
Hanoch Zeibert, a Gur Hassid.
The split between the mainstream haredi
political and rabbinical grouping and the Jerusalem Faction has been developing
since the death of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv in July 2012, then the
acknowledged leader of the haredi world.
Following Elyashiv’s death,
Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman and Auerbach engaged in a struggle for the
leadership of the community, with Shteinman prevailing.
There was almost
only one party submitted in this election in the haredi community of
But Bayit Yehudi submitted a list led by local activist Tzafrir
Sharoni in an effort to have a religious- Zionist presence in the city
Many former Knesset members who lost their jobs in the
parliament in the January general election are running for mayor, including
Ze’ev Bielski in Ra’anana, Carmel Shama-Hacohen in Ramat Gan and Zion Pinyan in
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