Contextual Content

Secular politician voted Jerusalem mayor

Israeli secular politician Nir Barkat defeats ultra-orthodox rabbi to become the new mayor of Jerusalem

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Story Transcript

TEXT ON SCREEN: Television stations across Israel reported on the election of Nir Barkat as mayor of Jerusalem.

NIR BARKAT, MAYOR-ELECT, JERUSALEM (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Tonight must be a night of unity. The campaign is over. From tomorrow morning—actually this morning, I will be mayor for all of Jerusalem’s residents.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Nir Barkat defeated a strictly religious ultra-Orthodox rabbi, Meir Porush. The win by a secular, right-wing businessman marks a significant shift away from ultra-Orthodox rule.

JERUSALEM RESIDENT: Well, I voted for Barkat, and he won. So I’m very happy today; I’m most happy that the secular have won. It’s going to change Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM RESIDENT: Oh, it’s a revolution, I think. It’s a very great day for us.

JERUSALEM RESIDENT: He definitely comes with a lot of energy to change things in this city. If he’ll get at all the cooperation from everybody, he might succeed, but it’s going to be very, very hard. I doubt it, but as someone who voted for him, I really give him all the best and good luck, and hope he’ll really change everything for the best.

TEXT ON SCREEN: The status of Jerusalem is one of the most hotly contested issues in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

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