a different side of Israel

Tag: Municipal Elections

Go Vote

It doesn’t matter where you live in Israel, and it doesn’t matter who you support. Go out and exercise your democratic right to vote.

Unlike the general elections, which happen here in Israel every 2 years or so, these municipal elections will determine the future of your city for the next 5 years.

Polling stations are open in most places until 10pm. All you need to bring with you is either your identity card, your passport, or your driver’s license.

If you live in Tel Aviv and you don’t know where you should vote (each person is assigned a specific polling station), you can enter your ID number in and instantly receive a detailed answer.

If you live elsewhere, you can send your (9-digit) ID number via SMS to 052-9991854. This is a Ministry of the Interior’s service. An SMS response with the appropriate details in received within 10-20 seconds.

Let’s go!

Ballot Box

Meet the Candidates: Peer Visner

I’ve already introduced the two major candidates in Tel Aviv: Ron Huldai (the flag bearer of Capitalism) and Dov Khenin (the flag bearer of Socialism). However, there are 3 other candidates; one of them is Pe’er Visner, who had also made his bid for the mayor office last time around.

Here’s the transcript of the video translated to English:

“Hello, I’m Pe’er Visner, chairman of the Green party, and currently running for mayor.

What have we done in the past 5 years?

We managed to switch the polluting power station Ree’ding from running on fuel oil to use gas. We decreased the air pollution in Tel Aviv by 25%.

What shall we do in the next 5 years?

First of all, we’ll take care of the public transportation. A fleet of small and environmentally-friendly buses would make the whole city accessible. In the future, there will be an entrance toll private drivers would have to pay in order to enter Tel Aviv with their cars. This way we’ll reduce the pollution even further.

It’s possible to do it. Let’s do it. For us, and for future generations.”

The biggest critism against Visner is that he hasn’t done much in the city council during the past 5 years. On the other hand, Dov Khenin, who’s new to municipal politics, has already done much for environmental issues — on a national level — as a Knesset member.

Personally, after 10 years of Ron Huldai in office, I think it’s time to let someone else “do his thing”. My own choice is Dov Khenin. And although Huldai is ahead in polls, if he doesn’t reach the 40% mark (currently he’s on 41% in polls), there will be a second round of voting, in which he’d go head to head against Khenin.

In such a likely scenario, all bets are off.

But it all depends on voter turnout tomorrow.

Meet The Candidates: Ron Huldai

Raviv Druker and Offer Shelach interviewed Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv, who’s running now for a third tenure in office. The interview took place more than half a year ago, but is no less relevant today.

Before the actual interview, Raviv Druker mentions that Huldai is very shy of the media — an assertion Huldai later admits, while adding that he’s been burnt by the media in the past.

The image that Druker and Shelach construct during this interview is that of a person who says little but does much. A person with a very pedantic and didactic personality, who believes in what he’s doing. After all, he’s been a military officer for many years, as a well as a high school principal.

They ask him: Do you like the job? And he cannot say he does, although he feels satisfaction when things are being done.

They take him for a walk outside, and count how many positive comments he receives from people on the street compared to negative comments. They also take him to the Yarkon promenade, where the Ussishkin Arena once stood — until the city council approved its demolition despite loud objections by sports fans.

I find it amusing that both Dov Khenin and Ron Huldai, the two major contenders in this race, are — hmm, for lack of better words — full blown geeks. Druker himself says that perhaps a turbulent city such as Tel Aviv needs someone sober to do the gray work behind the scenes.

Meet the Candidates: Dov Khenin

Municipal elections are taking place all over Israel this coming Tuesday, November 11th. The race in Tel Aviv is drawing extra attention this year, not only because Tel Aviv is the country’s economic and cultural capital, but also because of the interesting candidates.

This is Dov Khenin, one of the candidates for the Mayor position, speaking:

In one word: Transportation

In my opinion, there is one issue which dominates the municipal elections in Tel Aviv. That issue is transportation.

Tel Aviv is a city with not enough parking space on the one hand, and too much smog and pollution on the other hand. Car owners have to deal with endless parking tickets, as well as daily spins around the block, desperately searching for parking.

In addition, the public transportation in Tel Aviv is lacking any innate rationale, making it extremely confusing for out-of-town visitors. The prospect of a subway or a light rail, which had been brought up many times in previous election campaigns, remains silent this time — since everyone now acknowledge that such an ambitious project would take a decade or two to fulfill.

Tel Aviv from above

What’s the solution? Well, each party claims it knows best. Some go out against the parking tickets’ vendetta, while others suggest to puff up the bus fleet.

In the last couple of weeks, the issue of road accidents in Tel Aviv has made some grave deadlines, after two friends were ran over in the middle of the city by a drunk driver. Tel Aviv has the highest rate of urban road accidents in Israel.

Bottom line, for the first time I can remember, particularly everyone agree that the state of the transportation in Tel Aviv is a disaster and that things have to change. I believe that this is the biggest issue which is tilting the balance of power in this election season.

© 2023

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑