Lion unveils Likud Beytenu municipality list

"Jerusalem residents pay a lot and receive little in return," says Barkat’s opponent.

Moshe Lion 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Moshe Lion campaign)
Moshe Lion 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Moshe Lion campaign)
Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion addressed a number of issues – including negative immigration, sanitation, education and taxation – during an event Sunday where he presented the Likud Beytenu Jerusalem Municipality list.
He discussed stemming the exodus of young citizens from the city by “serving the residents, and not the reverse.”
“Jerusalem residents pay a lot and receive little in return,” he said. “Jerusalem is, above all, a city of its residents.”
Lion also announced a number of initiatives to improve educational standards in the city. His proposals included building 500 new classrooms in less than five years, increasing the education budget in Jerusalem to reach parity with Tel Aviv, which receives three times as much funding per child, and increasing the budget to fight the dropout rate.
Additionally, Lion said he intends to upgrade the status of 2,000 educators from contractors with no rights to full-time teachers, and to lengthen the school day.
With respect to housing, Lion pledged to create a department of housing under the mayor that would add 20,000 units, immediately implement the Outline Plan for Jerusalem created in 2000 and decrease the amount of time it takes to get a building permit from the current three to five years.
Regarding sanitation, he said he would add 300 more permanent employees and hundreds of trash receptacles, increase garbage removal to four times a week (and every day for particularly busy areas), and increase the beautification of the city budget by NIS 50 million.
To address the city’s transportation problems, Lion said he would lower parking costs by 50 percent for Jerusalem residents, provide free parking for residents aged 67 and older, repair and improve neglected roads, connect all neighborhoods in the city with a new transportation system, and build a new light railway line from Gilo to Ramot, going through the center of town.
Lion added that he would expedite the process for new small businesses to be licensed in the city and construct a new downtown business center to accommodate thousands of workers.
He also lauded the Likud Beytenu candidates.
“We have a list of experience and people of action who come from all types of backgrounds – religious and secular, and Sephardi and Ashkenazi,” he said.
Hundreds of the capital’s business and cultural leaders joined government ministers and members of Knesset Sunday night to show their support for Lion.
Numerous senior Likud members attended the event at the Crowne Plaza hotel, including International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz, Transportation Minister Israel Katz, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.
The other candidates on the list included Dudu Amsalem, Vladimir Shklar, Elisha Peleg, Valentina Moldanovski, Avraham Nagose, Hila Yedid Barzila, Avi Shalom and Madonna Jeno.
Steinitz spoke at length to express his support for Lion and to challenge the notion among Lion’s critics that his association with the city was superficial and opportunistic.
“When he was director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office he created a committee of government director-generals, and when he was chairman of the Jerusalem Development Authority, he brought hundreds of millions of shekels to improve Jerusalem for the good of its residents,” said Steinitz.
“I am certain that when he is mayor, Moshe Lion will continue to work solely for the good of the residents of Jerusalem,” he added. “Jerusalem has an excellent candidate in Moshe Lion, and Jerusalem will be strengthened through him.”
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau described Lion as a “man of Jerusalem” and a “man of the Land of Israel.”
“Moshe Lion is the right man for Jerusalem to strengthen the city financially and societally,” he said. “He is our candidate.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin added that Lion is the only candidate who will keep Jews from leaving Jerusalem and unite the city.
“Jews are not staying in Jerusalem, where there is nowhere to live and no work,” he said. “Lion will bring these things to Jerusalem.”
“We also need someone who talks clearly about an indivisible and united Jerusalem and has a history in the nationalist camp,” Elkin continued.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Avigdor Liberman criticized Jerusalem’s current high municipal taxes.
“Jerusalem residents pay taxes like [they live in] Manhattan but receive services like [in] Damascus,” he said.