If Natan Elnatan doesn’t run for mayor of Tel Aviv, the next mayor will be a secular leftist with little sympathy for the rights and needs of the religious public. That, and the surprising fact that he has a chance to win, is why the Shas representative in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality has decided to run for mayor.
Ron Huldai, the mayor for the past 20 years, was thought to be a shoo-in to succeed himself once more, until competition appeared. First, his deputy, Asaf Zamir, announced his candidacy. Then Labor MK Stav Shafir joined the fun.
“We saw that there are six candidates, and they all come from the left and the extreme left. For a Jew who observes Torah and mitzvot, and for a traditional Jew and a right-winger, there is no candidate he can vote for,” Elnatan explained to Arutz Sheva on Sunday.
Elnatan said he has broad support from rabbis and politicians. “Everyone told me, ‘You have to run for mayor. If there are 40 percent [of the electorate, the religious, chareidi, traditional and right-wing] who do not have an alternative, against 60 percent who have six candidates, we have to present a candidate against the left.'”
On the vexing issue of closing businesses on Shabbos, Elnatan said: “We did not seek to close the entire city and we have no intention of closing it. But there was a status quo here for years. The places of entertainment and restaurants were open, and all the businesses and supermarkets were closed. I’d be happy to see that the whole city is closed, but I live in Tel Aviv and not in Bnei Brak and I know how to live in a mixed city.”
Addressing the stubborn problem of illegal migrants in south Tel Aviv: “The municipality has to invest less in the infiltrators, to give them the minimum that is required by law, while investing more resources in the Jewish community in south Tel Aviv.”