Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion addressed a number of issues – including
negative immigration, sanitation, education and taxation – during an event
Sunday where he presented the Likud Beytenu Jerusalem Municipality
He discussed stemming the exodus of young citizens from the city by
“serving the residents, and not the reverse.”
“Jerusalem residents pay a
lot and receive little in return,” he said. “Jerusalem is, above all, a city of
Lion also announced a number of initiatives to improve
educational standards in the city. His proposals included building 500 new
classrooms in less than five years, increasing the education budget in Jerusalem
to reach parity with Tel Aviv, which receives three times as much funding per
child, and increasing the budget to fight the dropout rate.
Lion said he intends to upgrade the status of 2,000 educators from contractors
with no rights to full-time teachers, and to lengthen the school
With respect to housing, Lion pledged to create a department of
housing under the mayor that would add 20,000 units, immediately implement the
Outline Plan for Jerusalem created in 2000 and decrease the amount of time it
takes to get a building permit from the current three to five
Regarding sanitation, he said he would add 300 more permanent
employees and hundreds of trash receptacles, increase garbage removal to four
times a week (and every day for particularly busy areas), and increase the
beautification of the city budget by NIS 50 million.
To address the
city’s transportation problems, Lion said he would lower parking costs by 50
percent for Jerusalem residents, provide free parking for residents aged 67 and
older, repair and improve neglected roads, connect all neighborhoods in the city
with a new transportation system, and build a new light railway line from Gilo
to Ramot, going through the center of town.
Lion added that he would
expedite the process for new small businesses to be licensed in the city and
construct a new downtown business center to accommodate thousands of
He also lauded the Likud Beytenu candidates.
“We have a
list of experience and people of action who come from all types of backgrounds –
religious and secular, and Sephardi and Ashkenazi,” he said.
the capital’s business and cultural leaders joined government ministers and
members of Knesset Sunday night to show their support for Lion.
senior Likud members attended the event at the Crowne Plaza hotel, including
International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz, Transportation Minister Israel
Katz, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom and Deputy Defense Minister Danny
The other candidates on the list included Dudu Amsalem, Vladimir
Shklar, Elisha Peleg, Valentina Moldanovski, Avraham Nagose, Hila Yedid Barzila,
Avi Shalom and Madonna Jeno.
Steinitz spoke at length to express his
support for Lion and to challenge the notion among Lion’s critics that his
association with the city was superficial and opportunistic.
“When he was
director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office he created a committee of
government director-generals, and when he was chairman of the Jerusalem
Development Authority, he brought hundreds of millions of shekels to improve
Jerusalem for the good of its residents,” said Steinitz.
“I am certain
that when he is mayor, Moshe Lion will continue to work solely for the good of
the residents of Jerusalem,” he added. “Jerusalem has an excellent candidate in
Moshe Lion, and Jerusalem will be strengthened through him.”
Minister Uzi Landau described Lion as a “man of Jerusalem” and a “man of the
Land of Israel.”
“Moshe Lion is the right man for Jerusalem to strengthen
the city financially and societally,” he said. “He is our
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin added that Lion is the
only candidate who will keep Jews from leaving Jerusalem and unite the
“Jews are not staying in Jerusalem, where there is nowhere to live
and no work,” he said. “Lion will bring these things to Jerusalem.”
also need someone who talks clearly about an indivisible and united Jerusalem
and has a history in the nationalist camp,” Elkin continued.
chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Avigdor Liberman
criticized Jerusalem’s current high municipal taxes.
pay taxes like [they live in] Manhattan but receive services like [in]
Damascus,” he said.