The major coalition for the upcoming local elections in October is underway, and it is unprecedented in its scope: The 'Jerusalem Unity' list includes Deputy Mayor Yosi Havilio ('Saving Jerusalem'), Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Ya'ala Bitton de Lange representing the 'Yesh Atid' party, City Management Member Dr. Laura Wharton ('Democratic Jerusalem'), as well as Eran Ben-Yehuda from the 'Labor' party.
This morning, the four signed a joint agreement and are expected to call on other entities in the national and local political landscape to join the coalition.
The joint announcement of this alliance comes two months before the local authorities' elections, amid continued collaboration between the parties on a variety of issues both in the Jerusalem arena and on the national stage.
According to the parties to the union, the main common goal is to return the state and moderate majority to the city council.
Deputy Mayor, Attorney Yossi Havilio: "Hope is rising. The time has come to save Jerusalem from the poor, racist, and non-Zionist direction it is heading towards, and to liberate the city council from the grip of extremists and anti-democrats. We've decided to unite forces among the various points on the political map, as we are at a crossroads. The feeling these days is difficult and complex, and the responsibility lies with us. Jerusalem has a final opportunity to change the course it's turning towards, and it's an opportunity we must seize and realize. We have a vast public behind us that intends to restore the moderate and fair majority to the city council and create a reality where there is maximal protection for the neighborhoods and institutions of the national and national-religious public in the capital of Israel."
Ya'ala Bitton de Lange: "Together, we will fix what is broken and become a home for religious and secular, Eastern and Ashkenazi, left-wing and right-wing, protest participants, and advocates of dialogue. By restoring the moderate majority to the Jerusalem municipality, we will halt the ongoing erosion of the open and democratic nature of the public sphere, put an end to the dispossession of public assets by extremists, and no longer settle for crumbs from the municipal budget – which we are its main source. Our unity brings an important message to Jerusalem, in a critical period: united fronts, safeguarding neighborhoods and institutions, and emphasizing the quality of life."
Dr. Laura Wharton: "In a period of erosion of values and a deep social crisis, we have come together to change the equation in Jerusalem and free the city council from the grip of zealots and extremists trying to take it over. The secular, traditional, and liberal-religious public is the one that upholds Jerusalem with its head above water, and the time has come to take back the reins. We want Jerusalem to strengthen, flourish, and we are prepared to work hard for it."
Eran Ben-Yehuda: "This unity is good news for Jerusalem, but its significance is relevant to other parts of the country as well. Thanks to this new alliance, we will secure its future as a city worth living in. Instead of a city diving into the depths of unemployment and racism, we will implement detailed plans to strengthen the national and national-religious public in Jerusalem and transform poverty centers into engines of growth for the city and the country."