As the municipal elections approach, candidates have now submitted their applications to run for office. Among them is Yair Gabbai, 51, a former city councilman who joined Likud in 2009 when the Religious Zionist Party disbanded. However, Deputy Mayor Elisha Peleg, also from Likud, will not run again for city council, since he missed the deadline to submit his candidacy.
City council member Avishai Cohen, of the Unity of Jerusalem party, who holds the development, innovation, and technology portfolio, had been a member of the Hitorerut faction. However, he resigned, together with Yamit Yoali-Ella, after he claimed that he had become a pariah in his faction.
Who is running in the Jerusalem municipal elections?
Second in line in Hitorerut, after party leader Adir Schwartz, is Miriam Sela, 31, a civil servant. The faction is dedicated to advancing both the secular and the religious populations that belong to the liberal Zionist sectors of the city.
The new Jerusalem First list is headed by Alon Levy, a Jerusalem resident who is a former reporter for education and municipal affairs at Yediot Yerushalayim. The party is focusing on residents’ struggles in special education, as well as dealing with noisy construction works, evacuations due to construction, and traffic jams.
Levy is focusing on the quality of life and local affairs in the city, as opposed to controversial political issues, such as religious tensions, Left-Right conflicts, and Arab vs Jews. He says that he has garnered supporters from all the city’s sectors and neighborhoods. The local Labor party’s Eran Ben Yehuda is a resident of Gonenim, is married, has a son, and is former vice-president of the PresenTense company. He claims that even though he is not represented on the outgoing city council, he managed to promote the night service of the train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, temporarily stopped the construction of Haberech Road, and preserved the Jerusalem mountains.
Mayor Moshe Lion has formally launched his campaign, inaugurating his headquarters yesterday in Talpiot. He announced another member of his still-unnamed list: Amit Peretz, 31, administrator of the Facebook group Remaining in Jerusalem since July 2019, which offers advice on how to navigate life in the city. ❖