Local Elections 2024: The Winners and the Losers

By Hamodia Staff

Voting cards at a voting booth in Yerushalayim, on Tuesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The incumbent mayors of Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv coasted to re-election as Israelis voted on Tuesday in municipal elections delayed by the war in Gaza, while Haifa sent its incumbent home with the support of just 4.5% of the vote.

Key races in other parts of the country, like Beit Shemesh, were inconclusive, with no candidate winning 40% of the vote. In these cases, a runoff election will be held on Sunday, March 10 (and not on Tuesday, as usual, because that’s when Ramadan begins).

Results were not final as they did not include “double-envelope” ballots cast by soldiers and reservists, which take more time to tally, but the following survey gives a fairly accurate picture of how the elections turned out this year.


The only surprise here was the margin of victory for incumbent mayor Moshe Leon, who was reelected with a stunning 81.6% of the vote.

Secular candidate Yossi Havilio, who ran an anti-chareidi campaign, trailed with only 18.1%, much less than the Channel 14 projections Tuesday, which gave him 30%.

In his victory speech, Leon said that in light of the war in Gaza, the victory was a somber one. “I admit that this is difficult for me, and in these moments, I’m thinking, first of all, of all the hostages we pray to return as soon as possible to the State of Israel. I’m thinking of the IDF soldiers and security forces who are fighting for us in these moments.”

Leon had the support of the chareidi parties, and will be able to form a coalition of 16 with representatives of Shas, Agudas Yisrael, Degel HaTorah and Etz, according to the initial election results.

Tel Aviv

With most of the votes counted in Tel Aviv, incumbent Mayor Ron Huldai was poised to defeat former Yesh Atid minister Orna Barbivai, securing a sixth consecutive term as head of the coastal city.

Huldai appeared to win 51% of the vote to Barbivai’s 37%, while Yuval Zellner took 14%, according to Channel 12 news.

Barbivai conceded defeat early yesterday, congratulating Huldai and thanking her supporters.

The result was seen as a blow to Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid.


Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem was sent packing after picking up 4.5% of the vote. The city will hold a second round of voting after no one managed to secure 40% of the ballot.

The runoff will see former longtime mayor Yona Yahav – who lost to Kalisch-Rotem in 2018 – run against David Etzioni.

Bnei Brak

As expected, the next mayor is Chanoch Zeibert of Agudas Yisrael, with 59% of the vote, compared to 36.6% for Uriel Busso.

Even the soldiers’ votes are not expected to affect the outcome, given the huge gap between the contenders.

Way behind was the Likud candidate, Yaakov Vider, with just 4.4%.

Beit Shemesh

One of the cities that saw the toughest competition among the chareidi parties was Beit Shemesh. Shas candidate Moshe Abutbul faced off against Degel HaTorah’s Shmuel Greenberg, in a bid to unseat the incumbent Aliza Bloch.

According to the official update, after counting 100% of the regular votes, Greenberg was leading with 35.7% of the vote, followed by Bloch with 32.4%, and Abutbul, himself a former mayor, close behind her with 31.9%, only some 200 votes behind her.

Though Bloch and Greenberg appeared to be heading to a second round, the results could change after the military votes are counted.

Beitar Illit

No surprises here as incumbent mayor Meir Rubinstein took the election effortlessly with 66.1%, compared to only 33.9% for his opponent, Chananel Shem-Tov.


It was sweet victory for the chareidi public, as the candidate who received the support of Harav Dov Kook, Yosef Naveh, handily defeated Ron Kobi, 51.8% to 22.9%.

Kobi is remembered for having made life difficult for the religious community. “I want the chareidim to continue to develop – outside of Teveria,” he said in 2018 after being elected mayor. “At every point where I can stop construction for chareidim, I will do so.”


Shas candidate Yehuda Butbul was the unexpected victor, with 55.3%, against 44.7% for incumbent mayor Yisrael Porush.


After most of the votes had been counted, incumbent mayor Yechiel Lasri appeared to have 48.2% of the vote. He had the support of all the chareidi parties.


In Tzfas, a huge victory was scored by Shas candidate Yossi Kakon, who went head-to-head against incumbent mayor Shuki Ohana.

Kakon, who enjoyed the backing of all the chareidi parties, was leading Ohana 52.2% to 43%.

Although the soldiers’ votes and double envelopes had not been counted yet, Ohana conceded the election.

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