Reelection of Modi’in mayor foregone conclusion

By
October 22, 2013 02:20

More interesting in Modi’in is the race for city council, which has a combination of independent local parties, with no national party.

2 minute read.



Haim Bibas

Haim Bibas. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Modi’in was bustling on election day, with around half-a-dozen parties competing for city council seats in a wide-open election, which otherwise would have been a lackluster campaign due to the dominating position of incumbent Mayor Haim Bibas.

National parties also made their presence known, with both Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman and Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach making side-by-side appearances with their parties’ local leaders Shahar Mey-On (Yesh Atid) and Michael Harlap (Bayit Yehudi).

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Bayit Yehudi is the only party with an Anglo, Jonny Cline, on its list, but it appeared that Yesh Atid tried to compensate somewhat by sending Lipman to campaign.

Harlap was the most optimistic, predicting winning “three seats or more” of those seats in play.

Mey-On said he was hoping for two to three, and said that while Modi’in is “full of beautiful parks and flowers,” his party could “strengthen its soul.”

Lipman remarked that while Bayit Yehudi was strong, he believed Yesh Atid’s national message of “balance” between all sectors of society would prove successful.

The list running under Bibas’s banner and Bayit Yehudi appeared to have heavy involvement from teenage volunteers, biking around, holding up signs and otherwise stumping for their parties, though all parties had some youthful volunteers.

Teenage volunteers included Ariel Werblowsky (Bayit Yehudi), born in Israel into a family of new olim from the US.

Werblowsky said he volunteered for the party (though he and all of the teenage “volunteers” were paid some small amount) because he supported Harlap for helping build new buildings for holding events for the Bnei Akiva youth group and new basketball courts.

Elad Siman-Tov, 17, another teenager campaigning for Bayit Yehudi, joined the party out of a combination of believing it would “strengthen Torah in the Land of Israel” and to help his friend, Harlap’s son.

Or Shemesh, 18, adolescent volunteer for the Bibas list, said Bibas had made Modi’in “a great city” with major projects like “building the municipal pool,” which he said were reasons for supporting him and his list.

But besides being sure that Bibas would be reelected, some of his volunteers were less than optimistic about his list for city council.

At another polling station, Miri Arad, number three on Ilan Ben-Saadon’s list (unofficially affiliated with Labor), effused about what Ben-Saadon has done for the city in the past and about his commitment for implementing new projects in the future.

Meanwhile, Ben-Saadon’s wife watched over the operation, interspersing orders about how to best approach incoming voters.


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