Jerusalem elections 2018: A look at Avi Salman

Candidate Avi Salman has remained, for many, a kind of enigma.

August 1, 2018 18:41
2 minute read.
JERUSALEM MAYORAL candidate Avi Salman

JERUSALEM MAYORAL candidate Avi Salman. (photo credit: ILAN AMOUYAL)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Candidate Avi Salman has remained, for many, a kind of enigma. The young lawyer, once a close assistant to Mayor Nir Barkat and today a loud critic of the way he handles municipal issues, is not religious – yet he has gathered around him a few rabbis. He is young – 36 – and he is the only candidate who has included a disabled woman in his list (No. 3). Most of the polls do not give him more than 4% to 6% of the votes, but he has refused so far to withdraw from the race or to join another candidate.

On Tuesday afternoon, Salman revealed his major associates and presented his program to his supporters and the local press. Rabbi Josef Wasserman, chairman of the IDF veterans, who is also the rabbi of the Romanian community in Israel and a former paratrooper rabbi, is No. 2 on the list. Wasserman is also an active member of the Israeli Council for Seniors (and retired persons in general) and as such, brings to Salman the support of about 60,000 seniors in his organization. The combination of a young politician, a large association representing the seniors in the community and a representative of the disabled persons in the city forms a very different list than all other candidates have presented so far.

But there is more. Salman and his family are among the core of the Likud party, especially in its branch in Jerusalem. “When you say Likud Jerusalem, you say Salman family,” says one of the supporters present at this meeting.

When asked the question how does it work, that the Likud members in the city are in fact divided between at least two candidates – perhaps even three (since a large part of candidate Moshe Lion’s aim is towards Likud voters in the city) – came Wasserman’s answer: “Avi Salman is not a visitor here, he was born in Jerusalem, grew up here and has lived here all his life,” hinting at Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who is a member of the same party, but considered by many as an “outsider” in the city.

Simha Benisti, No. 3 on Salman’s list, is a severely disabled woman, confined for years to an orthopedic bed on wheels. She is a veteran of the struggle for disabled persons and their needs. She has led a large number of demonstrations for bettering the conditions of the disabled community and their special needs. However, until now, she has not been involved in politics. Benisti said that, while she still brings the issues she stands for to the Knesset through all the parties ready to listen, she believes that for the cause of the retired and the disabled in Jerusalem, there is no better way than through politics to reach the council.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Olivier Elbaz, Salesforce senior regional vice president, addresses the company's Basecamp Tel Aviv
June 27, 2019
Salesforce to turn Israel into second-largest global innovation hub


Cookie Settings