Berkovitch tells haredim: Daitch will be in my coali­tion

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By CAS­SAN­DRA GOMES-HOCHBERG

Jerusalem may­oral can­di­date Ofer Berkovitch called for haredi (ul­tra-Or­tho­dox) sup­port, say­ing that Yossi Daitch “knows he will be part of the coali­tion I will form.”

“We should ex­pect big sur­prises from haredi vot­ers,” Berkovitch said in Jerusalem’s haredi neigh­bor­hood of Romema on Thurs­day. “The haredi pop­u­la­tion is com­plex and pass­ing though deep changes.”

In the bat­tle for Jerusalem’s re­li­gious vot­ers, Berkovitch reached out to both the haredi and re­li­gious Zion­ist pop­u­la­tion to garner sup­port for the up­com­ing sec­ond-round of elec­tions on Novem­ber 13.

“We are in a bat­tle for the heart of Jerusalem,” he said. “The dream of con­nect­ing sec­u­lar and re­li­gious peo­ple, con­ser­va­tives and haredim is tak­ing place in my move­ment. If we give up on it, we give up on the Is­raeli dream.”

“Don’t judge me by the kip­pah I don’t wear and the beard I don’t grow,” said Berkovitch. “Judge me by my ac­tions of bring­ing peo­ple to­gether. If we don’t bring Jerusalem to­gether, it will cease to ex­ist.”

Berkovitch’s Hi­tore­rut Party won seven seats in the 31-mem­ber city coun­cil, sur­pass­ing Degel HaTo­rah and Shas. The can­di­date ex­pressed frus­tra­tion over op­pos­ing can­di­date Moshe Lion’s lack of seats in the city coun­cil. Ac­cord­ing to Berkovitch, this was a clear in­di­ca­tion of Lion’s de­tach­ment from Jerusalem’s pub­lic in­ter­ests and his abil­ity to build a sup­port base through pol­i­tics only.

“I don’t need to please [Yis­rael Beytenu chair­man Avig­dor] Liber­man or [Shas leader Arye] Deri,” he said, hint­ing at Lion’s al­liances. “De­ci­sions from above don’t work here; Jerusalem’s de­ci­sions have to come from within,” Berkovitch re­marked.

In the ten years of his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, Berkovitch fo­cused on work­ing within the city coun­cil of Jerusalem, and avoided be­com­ing in­volved in na­tional pol­i­tics. “I don’t need to re­port any­thing to any­one, ex­cept for Jerusalemites, whom I ac­tu­ally work for,” he said.

(Brynn Riesen­berg)

JERUSALEM MAY­ORAL CAN­DI­DATE Ofer Berkovitch ad­dresses the me­dia yes­ter­day.

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