No peace amid the coronavirus

Sources at the mayor’s office confirmed that the 500 volunteers of Hitorerut have been included in the network of working teams organized by the municipality.

The Italian flag shown on the Old City walls of Jerusalem to show solidarity during the coronavirus outbreak (photo credit: ARNON BOSSANI)
The Italian flag shown on the Old City walls of Jerusalem to show solidarity during the coronavirus outbreak
(photo credit: ARNON BOSSANI)
It could have been a turning point in the bitter rivalry between Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and City Council opposition leader Ofer Berkovitch (Hitorerut). It could have been. It even maybe should have been, but unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Berkovitch phoned Lion last Saturday night and proposed that the 500 or so volunteers of Hitorerut – the large majority of whom are young people who are not considered at high-risk regarding the virus – would join the efforts of the municipality in providing answers to seniors, to those who are ill, and to individuals with special needs who so badly need help in these difficult days.
In his phone conversation with Lion, Berkovitch did not mention the possibility of having his party’s seven City Council members – who represent a large part of the secular and pluralist population of the city – join the mayor’s coalition. Nor did sources at Safra Square or inside Hitorerut expect that such an offer would be made. After all, the phone call was the first conversation between the two men since the October 2018 elections that was not just an exchange of yelling and unpleasant remarks – as has occurred at every council meeting since then.
So an enlarged coalition did not emerge, despite the drastic nature of current events. Neither man jumped on the occasion to show Jerusalemites how responsible elected officials should act in such serious circumstances. Berkovitch said by now it is obvious that Lion is not ready to admit that Hitorerut and the thousands of Jerusalemites it represents have to be taken into consideration. That might not be completely fair, at least not regarding his phone call to Lion.
Sources at the mayor’s office confirmed that the 500 volunteers of Hitorerut have been included in the network of working teams organized by the municipality. The source verified that at no point was the issue of adding Berkovitch and his list to the coalition mentioned.


Tags Jerusalem