Brain Bush’s Blog


  • By : Brian Bush
  • October 25, 2013
  • 2:54 pm

Hello Friends,

The media here in Israel continues to analyze the situation in Jerusalem post municipal elections.

It seems that there were three important phenomena that took place in their eyes.

First, ethnic politics in the capital city played an important role in these elections.

Second, there is disappointment over the now re-elected incumbent Mayor Nir Barkat, and it is greater than was previously thought. Mr. Barkat's team will have to do a serious rethink in how he runs his city.

Three, the upheaval in the ultra-orthodox sector has begun. This is the result of no heir apparent after the recent death of the Orthodox leader
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to the political and religious house he built for himself.

However, it's the apathy displayed by roughly 1/3 of the general public of Israel's capital city that is most disturbing.

With the public defection from the ballot box, it expresses the widespread lack of confidence in the democratic system specifically on the municipal level.

The public is saying there is a problem with, what it sees as, a languishing local authority filled with too much politics and too little services.

It should be pointed out again, as it is every five years at election time, that very few from the Arab sector cast their ballots.

This is a tradition going back to the first municipal elections after the unification of the city in the 1967 Six Day War.

This is, in and of itself, slightly under a third of all eligible voters.

If they would vote it could have a decisive effect on the races for both mayor and city council – something Jewish politicians would fear.

But for now most Arabs do not vote, which serves the interest of non-Arab parties and their policies.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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