Tunisia – The Jeruzalems are preparing for a mayoral initiative between secular and religious candidates who turned into a turbulent battle over power and influence in the holy city.
An Israeli businessman, Moshe Lyon, demanded strong remarks from the outgoing mayor of Jerusalem, Nirj Barkat, and the Orthodox Jewish Home party, which strengthened his ability to become the city's next mayor.
"I believe that the choice of Mosha Lion in the second round means choosing a good Jerusalem, and that is why I decided to support him," said Barkat, a member of the Likud party who finished in front of Lion in the Mayoral race in 2013. "With Moshe Lion Jerusalem will succeed. "
Lyon, an orthodox Jew who is popular with religious Zionists, has already received support from numerous extraordinary Orthodox congregations of Jerusalem and right-wing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. In the course of November 13, he will have to face a secular candidate Ofer Berkovič, after no candidate in the first round won at least 40% of the votes in order to win definitively.
Lyon hesitated himself as a "fighter", promised to revive the economy in Jerusalem, reach the Palestinians, and encourage young people to stay in the city.
Berkovič was in favor of a platform focusing on economic development, infrastructure and education. He emphasized the importance of "tolerance" and "coexistence".
"I am the only candidate who is in favor of the interests of Jerusalem, and not Lieberman or [ultra-Orthodox leader Aryeh] Deri or the center of Likud, "Berkovic said at a recent rally.
The race for the Mayor of Jerusalem, a key position in Israeli politics, has drawn attention to the sharp divisions in the secular camp in the country and the political barriers to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose candidate, the Minister for Religious Affairs in Jerusalem Zeqi Elkin, canceled in the first round of voting.
Elkins, a regular advocate and tight Netanyahu trustee, scored 20% of the vote in third, indicating that Netanyahu's influence could fall, analysts said.
"He (Netanyahu) supported Likud's Ze's" Elkin "only late and semi-closed, but Elkin did not even manage to reach a second round," Israeli author Akiva Eldar wrote in Al-Monitor. "The failure of Elkina's defeat – the minister of affairs in Jerusalem and the former close associate of Netanyahu – and the blow that took part in the Likud squad in the city council – which won only one seat – shows that support for Netanyahu is not necessarily sufficient."
The elder added: "Netanyahu may lose a magic touch. There is no place where Netanyahu's political and personal identity is more closely linked than his birthplace of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel."
Netanyahu was involved in a corruption scandal that implies members of his inner circle, including his wife and cousin. He has always asked him about allegations of corruption, and analysts warn that the charge could be settled.
After Elkin's shocking defeat, the local branch of the Likud party came in support of Lyon and cited its strong nationalist views. Elkin disagreed with the candidate.
Berkovich turned to "backdoor deals", he said that Lyon dealt with the ultra-Orthodox leader and Barkat in order to continue his power.
"Everything [Lion’s] voters are one big political business and have no public legitimacy to lead Jerusalem, "Berkovich said." We will win … We will win from below. We will defeat bicycle dealers. We will win because the Jeruzalems understand what their politicians may not yet understand. "
Despite the loss of key endorsements, Berkovitch has a stronger power base in Jerusalem than Lyon, whose party Jéllem has failed to pick up one city in the city.
If he was elected mayor, Lyon would need an exemption from the interior ministry to control the world.
Palestinians, who are disappointed by the growing Israeli settlements and poor infrastructure, are largely boycotting a mayoral race claiming to legitimize a system in which they are marginalized and poorly covered.
"I am not ready to acknowledge the political rules of the game and acknowledge or legitimize the Israeli occupation," Rami Nasrallah, Director-General of the International Center for Peace and Cooperation, told Ynetnews.
Aziz Abu Sarah, the only Palestinian candidate who opted for the post, was released after the first round of elections in front of the county counties after his status was questioned.
"It seems that hardened political stakeholders on both sides are hoping to maintain the status quo and will not stop at all to prevent progress," he wrote in Twitter.