Tag Archives: Nir Barkat

Israel’s Donald Trump? Reality Show to Feature “The Arcadi”


Mayoral also-ran Gaydamak

By Mandy Katz

Jerusalem voters may have told Arcadi Gaydamak, “You’re fired” last week, as Nir Barkat edged him for the Jerusalem mayoralty. But don’t imagine the oligarch just sitting at home counting his shekels, or making prank phone calls to those méchants prosecutors in France trying him for arms trading.

The Russian-reared Gaydamak, one of Israel’s richest citizens, plans to star in a reality-TV show along the lines of Donald Trump’s Apprentice series, but devoted to snack stands and other small businesses, Ynet reports:

[Gaydamak] will accompany and advise businesses with especially small turnover rates, such as Falafel stands, clothing stores and factories in the periphery, until their profit margin rises significantly.

If he boosts those felafel profits high enough, maybe we could import him for a future season devoted to slightly larger businesses. I can think of three in Detroit that could use the help.

Photo by LisaG in Tel Aviv

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I inherited 10,000 Shares of Jerusalem Stock, What Should I Do?

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

nirbarkatNir Barkat, the newly elected mayor of Jerusalem, gave the UJC a tender statement on what could be seen as the very essence of Zionism: “Every Jew in the world is a ‘shareholder’ of Jerusalem,” he said.

Besides the serious concept of “global Jewish Israel interventionism,” the idea that simply being Jewish justifies—or necessitates—ideological and other contributions to the Jewish State, Barkat’s quote got me thinking.

What if we were actually shareholders in Jerusalem & co. in the same way some sports teams are owned by the fans?


What would you do if you were a board member at Jerusalem & co.?

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Nir Barkat Elected Mayor of Jerusalem


"Nir Barkat. Mayor."

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

We had a preview of Jerusalem’s mayoral election earlier this week. Now we can declare software entrepreneur Nir Barkat the winner.

Barkat embodies a bit of a contradiction, doesn’t he? “The great hope of the city’s secular Jewish community,” as BBC describes him, will not consider dividing Jerusalem and plans to build Jewish housing in Arab East Jerusalem.

From Ynet (which also has a video):

He announced his victory early Wednesday morning. “Tonight Jerusalem has won, tonight Israel has won, tonight the Jewish people have won,” the soon-to-be mayor declared.

“Victory belongs to all those who love and cherish this special and amazing city of ours, the Jewish people’s eternal capital. It belongs to the Right and the Left, it belongs to the religious and the secular.”

Barkat called on the city’s residents to unite. “As of this morning I am mayor of all Jerusalemites. I want to offer praise to Meir Porush and his supporters, and the public they represent,” Barkat said. He concluded his speech with a blow on a shofar (ceremonial ram’s horn) and the singing of the national anthem.

Post-Obama Fix: Jerusalem’s Mayoral Election

A "smoking" election in Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem: a "smoking" election?

In a haze of post-Obamania deflation this week, I turned for a political fix to Jerusalem and the hotly contested mayoral election taking place tomorrow. For a city beset by race wars, poverty and a middle class exodus, it can be a grim business, but not without flashes of color. Today’s Washington Post offers a sober rundown of how the contest reflects the city’s ortho-secular culture wars. But, for more local analysis and also a whiff of fringe politics circa 1973, inhale the latest on Jerusalemite.net.

If London can elect offbeat politicos like “Red Ken” Livingstone and blustering Boris Johnson, why shouldn’t Jerusalem enjoy its rainbow-hued candidates? Jerusalemite offers a Q&A with Dan Birron, long-locked pub owner and Green Leaf Party candidate (you read that right: not “Green,” but “Green Leaf“)—sort of Ralph Nader meets Richard Branson meets Jerry Brown.

Birron’s not the only candidate with noteworthy hair. A front-runner, the extremely bearded Meir Porush, a Knesset member from the Haredi United Torah Judaism party, recently assured followers that it will take only 10 years to eliminate secular candidates from all Israeli mayoral contests, not just Jerusalem’s. When questioned about it afterward, Porush at first denied the remarks, which had been delivered in Yiddishand secretly tapedat a black-hat rally, reports Jpost. For me, the story evoked flashbacks to Obama’s notoriously riffing about bitter Pennsylvania gun lovers at a private fundraiser in San Francisco. But, when it comes to “clinging” to religion, even the most conservative Pennsylvanians take a back pew to Jerusalemites.  Continue reading