Barkat's new alliances

  • Opposition leader Nir Barkat has succeeded where all the greens have failed. Naomi Tsur, director of urban communities for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), has decided to join his list. After drawn-out negotiations with Arieh Hess's Green list and the Green Party, which have been at war with each other, Tsur understood she had to make a decision. "I realized I had to get away from lists whose main preoccupation became mutual destruction, although I still love them all and will do my utmost to help them reach unity for the sake of this city," declared Tsur earlier this week.
  • Barkat has signed an agreement with Kadima stating that his list would also represent the party at city council elections. After Kadima commissioned a few polls and discovered they were not sure they would gain even one seat, they remembered the candidate who was once their local representative.
  • There's a new duo in town: Hadassah Medical Organization director-general Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef and former Jerusalem Police chief Cmdr. (ret.) Mickey Levy. Although the two keep refusing to admit that they are seriously considering running for mayor and city council, discreet actions on their behalf indicate otherwise. Last week, an offer to join them was made to city councilor Meir Turgeman. Turgeman, once Barkat's right-hand man and today a fierce opponent of his, has already announced he is building a list for city council, largely constituted of social activists and neighborhood administration volunteers. Turgeman refused to reveal his intentions regarding Mor-Yosef and Levy's proposal, but said that Levy was his personal friend and "someone I trust and wish sincerely to see him involved in the city's affairs."
  • At the Green list for city council, led by Hess, there's still hope and high spirits, despite Tsur's decision to abandon ship. According to Hess, the number of volunteers joining the ranks is on the rise and has reached 100. The list's agenda for the coming weeks is an organized distribution of their "green identity card" to residents, each week in another neighborhood. So far 10,000 cards have been printed (the goal is to distribute at least 100,000 cards). The cards list the main goals and needs for a city to become green and eco-friendly.
  • Wake Up Jerusalem (Hitorerut B'yerushalayim), the group of young adults and students who a few weeks ago announced its decision to fight for the improvement of conditions for young people in the city, continues to awaken potential local voters. Most of the group's events take place on Friday mornings. This week the group is planning a parade along the main streets of Jerusalem, to raise awareness and involvement of as many residents as possible.
  • In a ceremony to mark the foundation of a park dedicated to the late Teddy Kollek, his son, Amos, surprised the audience when he added to the eulogy on his father's deeds as mayor of the city, that he would consider running for the job. The young Kollek said that since his father was mayor, nobody had really cared about the city and he was ready to dedicate himself to the mission, but explained that it was too late to do so for the coming elections. Maybe next time. - The talk of the day on Sunday at Kikar Safra was In Jerusalem's last cover story on haredi mayoral front-runner Deputy Mayor Yehoshua Pollack. A bunch of haredi assistants tried to find an English speaker to translate the article for them, and in Pollack's chambers, there was satisfaction over the article's "flattering pictures of the boss."