ISRAEL ELECTIONS: Jerusalem Mayoral Race Heading to Runoff, Beit Shemesh Too Close To Call; Results From Around The Country

Candidates in the runoff for Jerusalem mayor: Moshe Leon (left) and Ofir Berkowitz

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Following are some of the results from the municipal elections in Israel. Second or runoff elections will take place in many municipalities and cities on Tuesday, 5 Kislev, as none of the candidates in these locations received the minimum required; 40% of the vote.

The list includes: Arrarah, Ashkelon Coast Council, Gush Etzion, Har Hebron, Hod Hasharon, Ilut, Jerusalem, Kara, Kiryat Tivon, Lakiya, Lower Galil, Metar, Mishad, Pardes Chana, Ra’anana, Ramat Gan, Tzefas, Yahud, Zarziz Council, and the Zevulun Council.

In this election, the candidate with most votes is declared the winner.


It is final and there are no winners declared in the Jerusalem mayoral race, but there are two contenders set to face off against one another in a runoff election on Tuesday, 5 Kislev.

The Likud candidate, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Ze’ev Elkin was surprised to learn he is not in the runoff, coming in third place with only 19% despite being officially endorsed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Moshe Leon received over 79,000 votes, which is 33%. A minimum of 40% is required to be declared a winner. Hence, he will face off against Ofer Berkowitz, who received about 68,000 votes, amounting to 29%. Elkin received about 47,000 votes (19%) and Yossi Deutsch 40,000 votes (17%).

If we look at the Jerusalem city council, Degel Hatorah doubled its size and will have six seats in the new administration. Ofer Berkowitz’s Hisorarus party has six seats, Shas 5, Agudas Yisrael 3, Meretz 2, Elkin’s list 2, Bayit Yehudi 2, Aryeh King’s list 2, Bnei Torah (Peleg) 1, Yossi Chavilov 1 and Likud 1.

The runoff election is scheduled for Tuesday, 5 Kislev, and it will not be a national holiday.

Voter turnout was around 35%, a decrease from the election five years ago. Experts say in the runoff, the voter turnout is usually lower then on Election Day.

Facing hundreds of his chassidic supporters, Deutsch during the night admitted defeat, lamenting the fact that if Shas and Degel Hatorah would have backed him, the capital of the State of Israel would be waking up to a new reality, a chareidi mayor.

[VIDEOS/PHOTOS: Gedolim & Politicans Voting on Election Day Around Israel]

Other major cities:


The Labor party candidate, Einat Kalish-Rotem, succeeded in unseating the veteran mayor, Yona Yahav. She enjoyed the backing of Degel Hatorah and Shas. She received 55.5% of the vote and Yahav only 37.7%.

Kalish will become the first female mayor of one of the nation’s major cities. Voter turnout in the city was 45.37%.

As reported earlier on YWN, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita predicted that Yahav, “the “Rasha” mayor would lose that race.

Tel Aviv:

In Tel Aviv, the incumbent, Ron Huldai, remains in office after receiving 46% of the vote with his opponent, Assaf Zamir, receiving only 35%.

Chareidi municipalities and cities:


It began with the High Court of Justice disqualifying the Degel Hatorah/Shas candidate in the Elad mayoral race, Yitzchak Pindrus. Both Shas and Degel Hatorah tried to postpone the election in the city in the hope of finding a new suitable candidate, but the court would not hear of it. This left them backing Barak Tzabari, who never dreamed of becoming the Shas candidate, and he received a respective 44%, but it was not enough.

Mayor Yisrael Porush realized he was reelected, despite Shas and Degel Hatorah doing everything possible to oust him. Clearly, life will not be easy for Porush as the new city council leaves him at the mercy of Shas and Degel Hatorah.

If we look at the city council in the chareidi city, Shas has 5 seats, Agudas Yisrael 4, and litvish tzibur which ran under Degel received 3, Avi Dayan 1, Bayit Yehudi 1, and Tzabari, who ran for mayor, 1.


The chareidi-backed incumbent, Dr. Yechiel Lasri, has 42% of the vote with most of the votes tabulated. This will be his third consecutive term in office. In the council seats, Ashdod Beyachad won six seats, Shas – five, UTJ – four, Ashdod Tenatzeiach – three, Atid Ashdod – two, Ashdod Betnufah – two, Commando Ashdod – one and Derech Chadashah also received one seat.

Beit Shemesh:

While some thought announcements that Dr. Aliza Bloch might succeed in unseating the Shas-affiliated mayor, Rabbi Moshe Abutbul was ‘fake news’, it appears the news was indeed accurate.

Final results are pending, but it appears the two are a mere 300 or so votes apart. As was the case in the 2013 elections, no matter who is declared the winner, the matter is likely to end up in court, and possibly, a second round of voting will be ordered as was the case five years ago.

Betar Illit:

Meir Rubinstein, the incumbent, is leading with 73.67% of the vote while Menachem Zaida has only 13.2%. while the voting is not final, clearly, he has been reelected. In the city council, Agudas Yisrael received six seats, Degel HaTorah – four, Shas – four, Anashim-Hershkop – one, and Toshavim – one.

Bnei Brak:

With 90% of the votes counted, Yahadut Hatorah has 16 seats in the city council, Shas 7, Bnei Torah (Eitz/Peleg) 2, Likud 2, and Eli Yishai’s Yachad party 1.


While it is not yet final, it appears the chareidi-backed candidate lost to Ron Kobi.

Kfar Chabad:

Partial results: Rabbi Meir Ashkenazi received 1056 votes (three seats), The Lev list headed by Binyamin Lifshitz 954 votes (2 seats), the ‘Hey’ list headed by Chaim Reichman 588 votes, which is 1 seat.

Modi’in Illit:

The incumbent, Yaakov Gutterman has received 88.7% of the vote with almost all the votes counted, clearly signaling a victory. UTJ received 13 seats, Shas – two and Eitz-Bnei Torah also received two seats.


Ronen Milis leading with 62% of the vote over Jackie Sabag, who has served as mayor for some 30 years, receiving only 23%.


With 30% of the votes counted, Miriam Fierberg is leading with 47.85% of the vote followed by Yoni Chetboun with 28.4%, showing she may be reelected.

Petach Tikvah:

Roni Greenberg, who was backed by Shas, unseated Mayor Yitzchak Braverman.


The incumbent, Ilan Shochat, was ousted it appears. There is likely to be a runoff election between Shuki Ochana and Nachman Gelbach.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. even those with qualms against Leon
    should surely hold their nose and vote for him
    Berkowitz is a low life worse than Barkat or Kollek
    ever were

  2. “in the runoff, the voter turnout is usually lower then on Election Day”
    unlikely this time around
    many of those who claimed they were going to support Deutsch obviously were not

  3. With 96% of the votes tabulated Yisrael Porush, the incumbent, is leading with 9,050 votes (56%) to 7,105 (44%) for Barak Tzabari. Tzabari was backed by Shas and Degel Hatorah, who remain committed to ousting Porush from office after their candidate, Yitzchok Pindrus, was disqualified from the race in its final days.

    Ah! Don’t you just love a good dose of sinah and nekama

  4. CORRECTION: Bnei Torah (Eitz/Peleg) won 3 seats in Bnei Brak, not 2 as YWN reported. They also won a seat in Beit Shemesh for the first time.

  5. Many Charedim or charedi inclined
    especially those of Western origins
    voted for Bloch
    or chose not to vote for mayor altogether
    Abutbul was a very well meaning and sincere person but wasn’t as mayor competent
    Last election they felt that it was a national atmosphere ,as indeed it was,
    therefore they had to go vote for him
    this time around it wasn’t as necessary however