Jerusalem mayor Barkat signs coalition agreements with Bnei Torah and Shas

Bnei Torah chairman Epstein lauds arrangement as a means of “adding to the holiness” of the capital.

November 20, 2013 02:50
1 minute read.
Nir Barkat was optimistic on election day in 2008.

Nir Barkat thumbs up 521 . (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Less than one month after securing his reelection, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the heads of the Bnei Torah and Shas factions signed a coalition agreement Monday night.

In a statement Tuesday, Barkat said he welcomed the coalition, which he added would provide greater representation for the city’s diverse constituency.

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“This coalition reflects all the residents of the city and has a huge potential to advance Jerusalem,” he said. “I am happy and hope that Bnei Torah [and Shas] will play a significant role in the continued strengthening and development of Jerusalem.”

Bnei Torah chairman Haim Epstein also lauded the arrangement as a means of “adding to the holiness” of the capital.

“The coalition agreement we signed tonight expresses our partnership in running the municipality with the aim of serving all residents of the city,” said Epstein. “We’ve stood our ground in maintaining the status quo... and hopefully we can now add to the holiness of Jerusalem.”

Under the mayor’s agreement with Shas, city council member Zvika Cohen will head the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) education portfolio.

Cohen praised the partnership, saying he expected United Torah Judaism to join the coalition shortly.

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