A conversation with Jerusalem's Me’uchadim list head Arieh King

"I have more in common with most haredim than with most secular people."

Arieh King – whose list represents the more radical religious and right wing of the religious camp – has allied himself with...  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Arieh King – whose list represents the more radical religious and right wing of the religious camp – has allied himself with...
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Who initiated the agreement between you and candidate Yossi Daitch?

I did. I have always said that I strive to reach unity as much as possible with the haredim.
But why? You are not haredi and neither are most of your voters.
I have more in common with most haredim than with most secular people.
On which grounds? The religious issues or the political ones?

Both. In regard to these elections, I am more concerned by the religious issues at stake.
But you know that Daitch cannot close down the First Station or any non-kosher restaurant or bar. So how does it help you?

That’s exactly the point. The issue is not the First Station today, but what will happen when and if there is a Second Station. I want to be sure that the mistakes that enabled opening the First Station for activities on Shabbat do not happen again.
Does it mean that secular residents will have no other choice than to leave if you are elected?

No. It means is that I will not tolerate that in Jerusalem, events financed by the municipality will serve food that I, as a religious person, cannot eat, for example. Secular people do not leave Jerusalem because of religious issues.
Both you and Daitch focus on the need to build affordable housing. According to your agreement, if he is elected, you become president of the local committee for planning and construction. Will you emphasize building in predominantly Arab neighborhoods for Jews?

I want less investment in city renewal projects that harm the city’s look; I want to enhance construction in Homat Shmuel, Gilo, Ramat Shlomo and the like. As for the neighborhoods in the east – Jews will have the right to build and to live wherever they want.
Your message to the secular residents?

As a brother to three secular people, I want to say that most of my friends are secular. I will do everything to ensure that they feel at home, but without treading on our Jewish values.