“Four months until the elections: Will the split of the religious-Haredi vote lead to a secular victory?
Four months before the municipal elections in the city – a big question mark overshadows Jerusalem. Every local politician knows that in order to increase his chances of winning the mayoral election, he should enlist a strong right-wing party, preferably the ruling party, and the majority of the Haredis in the city, but the current situation does not predict victory for any of the candidates.
[…]The election story in the Haredi sector in Jerusalem is very complex. The daily battle that takes place over every Haredi community is difficult and will not end until election day itself. It is estimated that more than 100,000 Haredis hold the right to vote in Jerusalem. The city – which is becoming increasingly more Haredi, more Arab and less secular – is in a real identity crisis. The election campaign is an important crossroads and a milestone in the historic city, with the elected mayor expected to face fateful issues that will determine the future of Israel’s capital.
[…]The first to benefit from the splitting of the strong candidates identified with the national-religious public is secular-liberal candidate Ofer Berkowitz of the Hitorerut party . Hitorerut activists, mostly young people, have begun to campaign on the ground. The activists express disappointment and frustration at every opportunity. Among other things, activists claim that Mayor Barkat was disconnected from the city and young people continue to leave the city.
Tthey hope to bring full secular support to Ofer Berkowitz. The plans are based on splitting the Haredi and religious voices, thereby conquering the leadership. This is feasible only if the Haredi public does not manage to unite behind one candidate. The internal rift among the Haredis continues to make headlines […]”
– Kikar Hashabat
0202 Editor’s Notes:
 ‘Hitorerut’ (lit. awakening) is a political party in Jerusalem identified with parts of the secular sector and the more liberal side within the religious sector. Its chairman and mayoral candidate is Ofer Berkovich (in above pic).
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