Mayoral doings

The tremendous advances made by Beersheba over the past 25 years has largely been the realization of Ben-Gurion’s dream to see the desert bloom.

Beersheba (photo credit: BEERSHEBA MUNICIPALITY)
■ ISRAELI POLITICIANS are known for wanting to stick to their seats. Among the exceptions to the rule is Ashkelon Mayor Tomer Glam, who says that every successful mayor should step down after completing his second term.
Glam has announced his intention to run for a second term, which is hardly surprising considering that he’s been in office only since April of this year, following the indictment in February of his predecessor, Itamar Shimoni, on charges of corruption that included bribery, money laundering and the payment of hush money to cover up sex crimes that he allegedly committed. Glam’s title is actually that of acting mayor, but to all intents and purposes he is the mayor. Shimoni had a relatively short run as mayor. Prior to the 2013 election, in which he defeated incumbent mayor Benny Vaknin, who had served four terms, he was CEO of Atarim, creative manager of Teva and CEO of Dasco.
■ IN ASHDOD, Mayor Yehiel Lasri is making a run for a third term. Five members of the opposition have stated that they are considering throwing their hats in the ring, but if they all compete to be mayor, chances are high that Lasri will find it relatively easy to retain his title, because opposition votes will be spread among too many people competitors.
■ BEERSHEBA Mayor Ruvik Danilovich is too busy thinking about the dedication of the ANZAC Museum at the end of this month by Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Bill English, who will join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in dedicating the museum on the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC Light Horse victory over the Ottoman forces in the Battle of Beersheba.
Some 2,000 visitors from Australia and New Zealand are expected to descend on Beersheba for a series of memorial events throughout the day. Hotels in the area are fully booked. In addition to the guests from the antipodes, many Australians, New Zealanders and Brits living in Israel will be attending some of the events.
Entry to official events is strictly by invitation, but most of the non-official events do not require one. However, security in the area will understandably be very tight, and anyone planning to be in Beersheba should make sure that they have their ID card or passport with them.
The tremendous advances made by Beersheba over the past 25 years has largely been the realization of Ben-Gurion’s dream to see the desert bloom, but the centenary event will put Beersheba well and truly on the international map.
■ DESPITE the fact that an indictment may be hanging over his head, Ramat Gan Mayor Yisrael Zinger has announced that he’s running in the upcoming mayoral race – and that he intends to win. The State Prosecutor’s Office announced in August that it intends to indict him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, but so far that has not happened.
Zinger’s predecessor, Zvi Bar, two years ago was convicted on charges of corruption and sentenced to five and a half years in prison. Bar was a much more powerful figure than Zinger and was in office for 24 years. Also contesting Ramat Gan’s mayoral race is Carmel Shama Hacohen, who is currently Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, OECD and the Council of Europe. He was the one who suggested that police investigate Bar with regard to property deals which were not quite kosher.