Labor MK Shai eyeing Jerusalem Mayoral run

According to Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai, the city has “deteriorated in every parameter,” a trend that must be reversed.

May 14, 2018 19:55
2 minute read.
MK Nahman Shai



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 analyses 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


Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai has held many prominent positions in his long career – IDF Spokesman, Army Radio Commander, chairman of Channel 2 News, director-general of the Jewish Federations of North America, and more – but now, he’s reaching for another title: Mayor of Jerusalem.

Shai has decided to run for mayor in November, and has asked the Labor Party for its backing, he told The Jerusalem Post Monday.

Mayor of Jerusalem is “one of the most fascinating and important jobs in Israel from every aspect. Jerusalem is a microcosm of the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” he stated.

“I believe we need to promote Jerusalem, and there are so many things to do,” Shai said, while en route to the opening of the US Embassy in the capital. “It’s one city that brings together so many groups and religions.

I’m very connected to this special city that symbolizes so much.”

According to Shai, the city has “deteriorated in every parameter,” a trend that must be reversed.

“The city is getting poorer. Its population is the poorest in the country. Thousands of Jewish Israelis are leaving the city, the Jewish-Arab proportion is changing, and in 20 years we’ll have an Arab majority. This is a very dangerous situation for Israel’s capital,” he said.

Shai does not support dividing Jerusalem, saying he thinks there will be “an arrangement” to share the city, and “division is not relevant.”

As for the idea to separate Palestinian villages from Jerusalem, which has grown popular in the center and left, Shai said: “It won’t happen. There’s resistance from all sides. It’s just a waste of political energy. We need to close the gaps between east and west Jerusalem; that’s the way.”

Shai called the US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem “one of the most important days in Israel’s history,” akin to former US president Harry Truman’s decision to recognize the incipient State of Israel.

“I’m grateful to [US President Donald] Trump. When America puts its weight behind something, other countries join it. Not immediately, but they will,” he said. “There are many advantages and great significance to this matter. I’m sure that in the end, it’ll strengthen Israel’s and Jerusalem’s standing.”

Shai gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu credit for his efforts in the matter, which proved fruitful.

Asked whether a candidate from a left-wing party is a long shot in Jerusalem, Shai responded: “I’m not a candidate from the left.”

The MK said he plans to put together an “apolitical” list for city council, with representatives from all the major population groups in Jerusalem, but he needs Labor’s infrastructure, funding and activists to stand behind him.

Shai also said he has held dozens of meetings with haredi (ultra-Orthodox) representatives to try to get their support.

Shai, a Jerusalem native, plans to move his official address to the capital from the adjacent suburb Mevaseret Zion.

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

Landscape of the Torres del Paine national park in the southern Patagonia region of Chile
January 16, 2019
Israeli traveler evacuated from Torre Del Paine trek in Chile