News / Middle East

Jerusalem Mayor Re-elected in Blow to Ex-FM Avigdor Lieberman

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat waves as he campaigns for mayoral elections in Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2013.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat waves as he campaigns for mayoral elections in Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2013.
Reuters
The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem was re-elected on Wednesday in a hotly contested race that dealt a political blow to his challenger's main backers: former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.
 
Lieberman, a legislator whose far-right Yisrael Beitenu party is allied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud, is embroiled in a corruption case. A court verdict next month is likely to determine whether or not he returns to the cabinet.
 
The Jerusalem race, in which his mayoral candidate, Moshe Lion, failed to unseat incumbent Nir Barkat, had been an opportunity for Lieberman to flex some political muscle.
 
However, in a snub to Lieberman, Netanyahu did not endorse Lion - and flew to Italy on Tuesday for talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after casting his ballot in Jerusalem.
 
Lion, a former aide to Netanyahu, took 45 percent of the vote to Barakat's 51 percent.
 
Palestinians, who form about a third of Jerusalem's 750,000 people, usually boycott the mayoral race in protest of Israel's control of the eastern part of the city, captured in the 1967 war.
 
For Shas, the contest was a chance to demonstrate its electoral power and show it could induce a large bloc of ultra-Orthodox voters to rally behind Lion, its favored candidate.
 
Once a maker and breaker of coalition governments, Shas was not invited to join the one Netanyahu formed after a national election in January, handicapping its ability to channel public resources to its educational and social welfare institutions.
 
The party, which draws its supporters from Israel's working class Sephardic community of Jews of Middle Eastern origin, has been in flux since the death of its spiritual head, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, two weeks ago.
 
Ultra-Orthodox Votes
 
Shas's main political leader, Arye Deri, joined Lieberman in backing Lion but failed to win support from ultra-Orthodox rabbis representing Ashkenazim, or Jews of European descent.
 
Barkat, 54, called the election “one of the most complicated and difficult races” he had seen, but thanked the voters he said “gave us a mandate to lead the city with the same vision for the next five years.”
 
A former high-tech tycoon, Barkat was first elected mayor in 2008 when he defeated an ultra-Orthodox leader in a contest that turned mostly on the city's sharp religious-secular divide. This time he won votes from secular and religious Israelis alike.
 
Though a political independent, Barkat championed Jewish settlement building in east Jerusalem in his first term, supporting Netanyahu's policies, yet was seen as more pragmatic than his opponent.
 
The Jerusalem contest was seen as the most strategic of nearly 200 local government elections held across Israel.
 
In Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial centre, Mayor Ron Huldai was projected to win a fourth term in office in a race against Nitzan Horowitz, a dovish lawmaker who would have been the first gay mayor in the Middle East.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 23, 2013 11:49 AM
Please stop referring to part of Jerusalem as "occupied" or "captured". In short there is no 'West' or 'East' Jerusalem; there is simply Jerusalem which was, is, and will remain the capital of Israel. It was called the city of King David since more than 6000 years ago, and has ever remained a Jewish city. Even if a Palestinian state arises today to lay claim to one part of Jerusalem as its whatever, can the world that knows the history of the region not rise also to acclaim the truth that Jerusalem has been a city of Israel? Today China and Japan are fighting over a piece of land whose history is relatively obscure, but does that also apply to Jerusalem?

The fear of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey cannot be the guiding principle in Middle East diplomacy. Somebody should rise and say the truth to save the region, or are we not yet tired of the acrimony, bloodbath and terrorism that this has inflicted on the world? I once heard that conscience is an open wound and only truth can heal it. Is the world totally bereft of conscience in our time?

In the years BC the word 'Palestine" was unknown. In the early AD years it was so much the same, and when it came on, it revolved around Nimrod. Now we are inundated with sympathy for Palestine in abject rejection of conscience leading to more troubles in the world. The truth is that those so-called Palestinians in the city should forget Israel ceding the land to anyone. It is either they wake up and accept Israeli nationality, or they find their root. There is no alternative to that.


by: PermReader
October 23, 2013 9:42 AM
Usual anti-Israel Reuters` post about not too bad Netanyahu but very bad party of Russian secular immigrants named "ultra-nationalists" as they are Israel`s patriots after their USSR` slavery.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid