Jerusalem mayor aiming for top post in Israeli cabinet

Barkat: "The Knesset doesn't interest me."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 11, 2016 21:34
1 minute read.
Nir Barkat

Jerusale mayor Nir Barkat announces he has registered to the Likud party in video message. (photo credit: screenshot)

 
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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is entering national politics in order to obtain one of the top posts in the cabinet, not to be a Knesset member, Barkat revealed at a closed political rally, a tape of which reached Channel 2.

Barkat joined the Likud on December 22 and began registering members to the party in an effort to build a national power base. He has been conducting political rallies and convening parlor meetings to reach out to potential supporters.

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“The Knesset doesn’t interest me,” he said on the tape. “I am interested in influential jobs. Is that okay? The Knesset is not my goal. Being a senior minister is what interests me at the height of my journey.”

Barkat said he believes being mayor of Jerusalem is among the five most exciting jobs in the country, along with prime minister, defense minister, finance minister, and foreign minister. He hinted that if he would leave his current post, it would be to seek one of the rest of the five.

In an embarrassment to Barkat, the video showed him mocking Likud ministers. He said they first waited to see whether he would be well received in the party before they started talking to him.

But he said that since he signed up 1,500 to 2,000 members, ministers like Haim Katz, Israel Katz, and Gilad Erdan were meeting with him and treating him like he has been their friend for 40 years.

Barkat said he would meet with organized groups who register people en masse in order to continue building support. Barkat’s office said in response to the report that by joining the Likud, he had helped Jerusalem and its residents.

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“Nir has brought new blood to the Likud and the new members he has brought, along with veteran members, strengthen the party, the prime minister and the ministers,” his office said.

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