Amidst the busy holiday season of Tishrei, we caught up with the Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, for a special interview regarding the tourism situation in the city against the backdrop of security concerns, the prayer storm in Tel Aviv, and his preparations for the upcoming local elections.
A few days after the disturbances by protesters against Yom Kippur prayer at Dizengoff Square, Leon says: "What's special about Jerusalem is that it knows how to accommodate all populations; everyone lives together here."
Leon shares his difficult feelings after witnessing the images following the conclusion of the fast: "The feeling is that it's a minority of people. I don't believe it represents the majority of the secular public in Tel Aviv. There's no problem with holding the prayer, and it was an unnecessary and embarrassing event that doesn't contribute to unity among the people."
The Mayor of Jerusalem sums up his first term and prepares for the elections to be held at the end of October. He says he is not concerned about the public debate surrounding the judicial reform affecting the local elections, stating, "I don't think it has an impact on the local elections; it's a different matter. I don't think there will be an influence here."
"In the past five years, I have demonstrated that it is possible to live alongside each other, without one party infringing on the other. This is something that Jerusalem can teach other places."
"My goal is to establish a coalition from wall to wall, and it is possible. There is communication among everyone. Each one understands how much can be achieved and what to give up on for the sake of the other side. In the current term, this has come to fruition, and everyone ultimately knew the limitations of power."
Moshe Lion: "We are in the right direction"
Two weeks ago, Lion presented the party with which he will run for the City Council, called 'One Jerusalem': "This is a true Jerusalem list, representing all the city's residents, and it is a very good list."
Moshe Lion, wearing a crocheted kippah, emphasizes that even though there are several other parties competing for the religious public vote: "I represent religious Zionism, that's a fact."
As the interview concludes, Lion addresses the city's congested transportation situation, and he believes that residents will soon start to feel relief: "In Jerusalem, projects begin and end. I have no doubt that Jerusalem will emerge from traffic jams ahead of all other cities. We're heading in the right direction."