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Dov Khenin
Photo: Yaron Brener
Tel Aviv: Shas mulls supporting Hadash MK's mayoral bid
Dov Khenin's list said to be wooing ultra-Orthodox party's councilmen in effort to secure their endorsement. 'Khenin would make a good mayor,' says head of Shas' municipalities division

Hadash Knesset Member Dov Khenin's bid for the mayor of Tel Aviv may soon be endorsed by an unexpected ally – the city council's Shas representatives.

 

With the municipal election less than a week away, the last few days have seen Khenin's people take several meetings with Shas members for what has been described an intense negotiations.

 

The Shas Party's board has confirmed the talks, adding a decision on the matter was imminent. MK Ya'acov Margi, who heads the party's municipalities division, told Ynet the he personally "believes Khenin would make a good mayor"; adding the finale decision was still pending.

 

Shas is one of the biggest factions in the Tel Aviv City Council, currently holding three seats. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and his Shas councilmen have been butting heads for years, and his continuance refusal to grant their demands has driven them to the opposition.

 

Should Shas endorse Khenin and his list, City for All, the move may prove problematic, giving Khenin the support of the city's southern neighborhoods' residents on the one hand, but alienating the city's secular and gay communities on the other.

 

The negotiations between City for All and the ultra-Orthodox party have so far produced a list of demands made by the latter, which include appointing a party member as deputy mayor and increasing the budget allocation for religious education facilities.

 

"We will be happy to cooperate with as many (municipal) elements as possible," said a City for All statement. "We are in the midst of negotiations with the Shas faction, but no agreement, written or otherwise, has been reached as of yet."

 

Gilad Shenhav contributed to this report

 

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