The race for the mayoralty of Jerusalem this week underwent many jolts, with a growing list of candidates, as well as political moves by the candidates in order to strengthen their hold.

The chareidi public, which has a decisive influence on the identity of the mayor of the capital, has become more reverberating than ever when everyone is trying to win its support.

It is important to note that at this stage, Gedolei Torah have yet to announce if the chareidim should have their own candidate for mayor, or to support a different candidate.

Earlier this week, Jerusalem Councilman and challenger Moshe Leon went to the home of HaGaon HaRav Baruch Soloveitchik Shlita, a member of the rabbinic committee of Degel Hatorah, as part of his efforts to receive the support of the movement. The host rabbi received Leon cordially, but beyond that, nothing was agreed upon at the meeting and no commitment was made.

Last week, Rabbi Soloveitchik came to the home of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein Shlita to receive his direction in order to make decisions in the Jerusalem arena. Sources in Degel Hatorah made it clear that despite the intensive talks, all the options remain open.

The most dramatic innovations took place this week in the Likud sector. Minister Ze’ev Elkin and MK David Amsalem are seriously considering the option of running for the Jerusalem mayoral slot, when according to any assessment, they will not run against each other, but will make an internal decision and one of them will become a candidate for the Likud.

Amsalem transferred his address to the capital in the run-up to the previous elections, in which Amsalem was a candidate on the Likud-Beitenu list, and when he was not elected, he returned to his hometown and now, has once again returned to Jerusalem.

Of the two Likud leaders, the candidacy of Minister Ze’ev Elkin seems more realistic. Among other meetings he held this week, Elkin met with MK Uri Maklev to probe chareidi support for him.

Meanwhile, the list of new candidates for mayor is getting longer: Knesset Member Nachman Shai (Machane Yehudi) and Major-General (res.) Yomtov Samaya have announced – in a few different formulations – that they are receiving inquiries and are considering the race/ Knesset Member Oren Hazan also did not refrain from getting on the bandwagon, and when asked about it in a media interview, he also claimed heavy calls and pressure from the public to run.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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