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