Everything was planned to the last and least detail.Last Thursday, the large hall at Safra Square played host to a special city council meeting, an evening of triumph for Mayor Nir Barkat. The festive event was to honor Interior Minister Arye Deri (Shas) as a gesture of thanksgiving for his approval of a special loan to build schools and classrooms.Let’s say it loud and clear: Barkat – after successive governments delivered speeches full of pathos on Jerusalem but failed, year after year, to bestow the necessary budgets – took a bold decision. Realizing that he would probably never get the sum required to build the critically needed classrooms in the Arab and haredi sectors, he took a NIS 1 billion loan from private banks.By this step, Barkat in fact released the government from its primary responsibility to provide classrooms needed everywhere in the country, particularly in the capital. The mayor, who is usually more a businessman than a politician, decided to do so because he believes in private initiative. Another reason may be rooted in his political ambition as a future Likud candidate for prime minister.However, despite his entrepreneurial, hi-tech background, he has also learned a few lessons on how politics works. Indeed, the festive council meeting was in fact a special event to honor Deri, whose part in this initiative was to approve the decision to take the loan.It is notable that, for the first time since Barkat became mayor, this very special city council meeting was not open to the public, despite his previous campaigns promoting transparency and the participation of residents.Officially, the reason was that there wasn’t room enough in the big hall. Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkowitz (Hitorerut) said that while he approves Barkat’s decision to take the loan, he could not understand why residents were not allowed in. Other council members – who preferred not to be identified – also remarked that there were plenty of seats inside the hall and that the residents of Jerusalem who wished to witness the event were not allowed to do so. With the bank loan Barkat has set a new standard of relationship between the city and the national government, and the new balance between the two parts may prove to be a very tricky one. Jerusalem has entered a new era.