According to the weekly Mishpacha Magazine, incoming Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat made a secret deal with National Religious Party leader Zevulun Orlev, which resulted in Orlev not supporting the chareidi candidate despite calls to do so from most rabbanim affiliated with the dati leumi camp.
According to the Mishpacha report, the deal promises the city’s education portfolio to NRP, as well as control of the religious council and a deputy mayoral post. In addition, the report states Barkat promised to use all his influence towards the appointment of a chief rabbi of the capital who is affiliated with the dati leumi and not chareidi camp.
Shas recently reported discussions with Barkat on the chief rabbi issue led to the incoming mayor suggesting that Yerushalayim’s Ashkenazi rabbi be dati leumi while the Sephardi rav would be Shas affiliated. Shas rejected the notion, explaining the mayor us not a partner in the selection process for the city’s rabbi.
According to Mishpacha, Barkat’s rav is Rabbi Shmuel Zafrani, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Me’iri and personal assistant to Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Shlita, who was at Barkat’s side throughout the entire election process. Mishpacha presumes Barkat will see to have him appointed to a senior post, perhaps in the city’s rabbinical council.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)