Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion caught admitting political deal

In the taped conversation, Lion reassured the activist that the enlistment bill “will be taken care of.”

October 25, 2018 22:48
1 minute read.
Moshe Lion


Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin warned Jerusalem residents on Thursday not to allow city councilman Moshe Lion to be elected as mayor in the October 30 race, following a report of a political deal Lion made ahead of the race.

The Yediot Ahronot article reported a taped conversation between Lion and a political activist, in which the candidate seemed to have made a deal where haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis would support him if his political patron, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, would pass a relatively lenient enlistment bill.

On Thursday night, Lion was formally endorsed by the haredi Degel Hatorah party at a mass rally with the party’s spiritual mentors in attendance, rabbis Gershon Edelstein and Chaim Kanievsky. It was attended by thousands of haredim.

In the taped conversation, Lion reassured the activist that the enlistment bill “will be taken care of.” He even spoke of how he would pretend to be unaware of the deal, in order to pass a polygraph test. “If God forbid such things come out, it’s the end of us,” Lion was caught saying on tape.

Lion responded that his words were taken out of context. Liberman denied the existence of any deal. “Is this how we want Jerusalem to be run?” Elkin asked. On Thursday, he released an animated video which portrayed the candidates as boxers in a ring, with Lion flanked by Liberman and Shas leader Arye Deri.

The video’s message was that even if Jerusalem city councilman Ofer Berkovitch wins the first round of voting, Lion could beat him in a two-man run-off race. However, Elkin could beat either Lion or Berkovitch if he makes it to the second round.

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