Why does a Jerusalem electorate that is overwhelmingly a Likud constituency repeatedly return a dove like Kollek to the mayor's office? "They don't regard me as a politician."
What characteristics would he wish to see in a successor? "A capacity for decision-making, for sticking to his views, and industriousness."
You've just described Arik Sharon, Kollek was told. "And an understanding of the world," the mayor hastily added. "And the world's relation to Jerusalem."
He would have added some more caveats but it was getting late. Kollek, who celebrated his 79th birthday this month, complained of weariness - "If you want to give me a present, give me l0 hours of sleep."
Did he think then that the people were more sensible than their leaders? "Absolutely," said Teddy Kollek. "They can't be more stupid. It's impossible."
Interviewed by Abraham Rabinovich for The Jerusalem Post's 1990 Jerusalem Day Supplement
The best job of all
Sir, - A vacuum exists in national leadership at a time of great crisis. The people demand a change... Who can take the reins and summon the nation to the monumental task ahead?
The man with the gifted qualities of leadership, tested in the excruciating position of Mayor of Jerusalem, is Teddy Kollek...
ROBERT GAMZEY, Arad
Sir, - Your readers may be interested in the following note I wrote to Robert Gamzey...: "Thank you for your kind words... There are dozens of reasons why this suggestion is not a good one. I must strain all my faculties to deal with Jerusalem's problems. It is more than a full-time job, and I have no interest in any other."
TEDDY KOLLEK, Jerusalem
An exchange on the Post's letters pages, February 1974
A Zionist newspaper
The Jerusalem Post is "the only real Zionist paper in Israel, because it is published in Zion, and a paper that appears in Jerusalem is by nature more Zionist than those in Tel Aviv."
The mayor at the Post's 50th anniversary celebrations, at the Jerusalem Theater, in December 1982.
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