J’slm Mayor Barkat Will Not Run For Third Term, Eyes Knes­set Bid

The Jewish Voice - - ISARAEL - By: Yona Sch­nitzer (TPS)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat con­firmed Sun­day that he would not seek a third term as mayor of Jerusalem, and will run for na­tional of­fice as a mem­ber of the Likud Party.

Barkat’s de­par­ture from mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment in hopes of join­ing the na­tional lead­er­ship has been long ru­mored, but only of­fi­cially con­firmed to­day.

“Six­teen years ago, I left all my busi­ness deal­ings, and de­voted my­self to Jerusalem, the city I grew up in and where I raised my fam­ily,” Barkat wrote in the an­nounce­ment. “For over a decade, to­gether with many part­ners, most im­por­tantly Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Ne­tanyahu, we car­ried out a his­tor­i­cal change of course and re­turned Jerusalem to a path of growth, with the largest bud­get the city has ever seen.

“Af­ter set­ting Jerusalem on the right course, I will not be run­ning for a third term as mayor,” Barkat con­tin­ued, adding that he may be leav­ing city hall, but he would never leave Jerusalem.

“I have de­cided to serve the coun­try at the na­tional level, and to strengthen the Likud party, [the party] I be­lieve in with all my heart. I plan on ask­ing for the party mem­bers’ sup­port in the next elec­tion.”

Barkat, who made a for­tune in the hi-tech sec­tor, has served as mayor for a sym­bolic salary of just one shekel a year. He vowed to con­tinue this trend in any po­si­tion he is elected to in fu­ture.

Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu, who met with Barkat Sun­day morn­ing, con­grat­u­lated his de­ci­sion, say­ing “You know what I say to peo­ple crazy enough to take on the bur­den of pub­lic ser­vice – con­grat­u­la­tions and my con­do­lences. At this point I’ll say con­grat­u­la­tions! I am very pleased that we will con­tinue to co­op­er­ate, we did it well as mayor and prime min­is­ter, and now, I wel­come you with open arms into our move­ment.”

In Septem­ber of 2016 Barkat praised the Czech gov­ern­ment for re­vers­ing a de­ci­sion by its Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry to re­quire the removal of any ref­er­ence to Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal in ed­u­ca­tional books. Barkat called the de­ci­sion a vic­tory against Pales­tinian in­cite­ment and lies against Is­rael.

“Truth has over­come lies,” said Barkat in 2016. “Fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of Czech stu­dents will con­tinue to learn the truth: Jerusalem is Is­rael’s cap­i­tal and the heart and soul of the Jewish peo­ple.”

The Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry in Prague or­dered the Sho­cart pub­lish­ing com­pany to erase ref­er­ences to Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal, af­ter Pales­tinian Author­ity am­bas­sador to the Czech Repub­lic Khaled al-Atrash com­plained that Sho­cart school at­lases re­ferred to the city as the Jewish state’s cap­i­tal.

“The at­las says some­thing that is un­ac­cept­able not only for the Pales­tini­ans but also ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional law and the of­fi­cial po­si­tion of the Euro­pean Union, in­clud­ing the Czech Repub­lic,” ar­gued al-Atrash.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat con­firmed Sun­day that he would not seek a third term as mayor of Jerusalem, and will run for na­tional of­fice as a mem­ber of the Likud Party.

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