Meir Porush
Photo: Dudi Vaknin

Porush: In 10 years there won't be secular candidates

Ultra-Orthodox candidate in Jerusalem mayoral race foresees local municipalities completely overtaken by haredim, says birthrate demographics proof enough

As the ultra-Orthodox candidate in Jerusalem's mayoral race, Meir Porush has gone to considerable lengths to win over the city's secular voters. It is doubtful, however, that most of them will view the remarks he made on Saturday evening at a conference of Belz Hassidim kindly.


“God willing, in another ten years' time there won't be a single secular mayor in any city. Maybe just in some run-down village," Porush told the assembled crowd.


“Dear teachers and esteemed scholars, look at what is taking place here. It won’t take long, 10 years, 15 years, and they'll have to hunt for a secular candidate to heady any city. We are currently in a situation where we already have an ultra-Orthodox candidate in Jerusalem, there has been one for five years and there will be another one for another five years. Not far from here, in the city of Beit Shemesh, God willing within ten days there will be an ultra-Orthodox mayor. And so on and so on.”


Porush asserted his political vision was an inescapable byproduct of the haredi birthrate.


“We are growing and multiplying at a fast pace, God willing, and in another 10 years there won’t be a secular as mayor in any city."


Porush was asked about his remarks when he arrived at a fair on Jerusalem's Emek Refaim Street on Sunday evening. When asked to elaborate on the comments he had made, Porush denied them entirely.


When he learned an audio recording of his speech was being widely circulated, he told Ynet he had merely been speaking of the connection between the National Religious sector and the ultra-Orthodox one


“In another 10-15 years, it will be very difficult for seculars to be elected to the Jerusalem municipality. This is a reality just like the Labor and Likud parties face running independently, just like the other parties.


“This is the reality, because of the (demographic) make-up of the public,” said Porush.


Shimon Bigelman, a city council candidate on behalf of the left-wing Meretz, slammed Porush's speech. "Meretz disgustedly rejects the words of Meir Porush, words which prove his goal isn't to be everyone's mayor but rather the mayor of the ultra-Orthodox," said Bigelman.


פרסום ראשון: 11.03.08, 00:07
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