Election Diary: Double Date?

Let's take a closer look at the preparations for local elections, which seem to be gathering steam.

Less than two weeks after the date for local council elections was set - November 11 - and doubt is already here: if general elections are called, they might also be scheduled for November. Since general elections are the Knesset's responsibility, while local elections fall under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry, the two have to be held at different times, and in this case, general elections would take priority. Meanwhile, let's take a closer look at the preparations for local elections, which seem to be gathering steam. • Rabbi Haim Miller, a Gur hassid and deputy mayor under Ehud Olmert, is running for the city council. Miller is heading the "list for Jerusalem and its citizens" and declared that his list will focus on the rights of the citizens, regardless of their religion, gender or political ties, and might even include an Arab citizen. • An Arab resident, Suleiman Fuad, could be the wild card on the Meretz list: after the primaries held there three weeks ago crowned (for the third time) Pepe Allalu head of the list for city council, Fuad, an X-ray technician at Hadassah, won the fourth place, after Meir Margalit (ex-city council member and leftist activist) and Laura Warton, a social worker and neighborhood activist. In Meretz, there is a hope that Fuad, an Israeli citizen and not a Palestinian from the east of the city, could nevertheless bring support from east Jerusalem residents and gain them the fourth seat at city council. • Sa'ar Netanel, an actual city council member (Meretz) didn't run on the party list. Netanel, who dedicated much of his time campaigning for the gay community's rights - including promoting the gay pride parade - quit Meretz and announced he was considering his next step - including an eventual departure from political life. • Spin time: According to Haaretz, the director-general of Hadassah-University Medical Center, Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, has recently been approached by representatives of the three major political parties to head a list that would obtain the support of 40 percent of the population of the city. According to the article, Mor-Yosef is seriously considering the offer, though he refused to react officially. The information is not - for the moment - causing any special concern at Nir Barkat's headquarters. "We are concentrating our efforts on the city and its residents," responded his spokesman.