Nir Barkat joins Likud, hints at possible MK run
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat joined the Likud party Tuesday morning, calling on the public to support the party ahead of a possible move toward running for an MK position.
“15 years ago I left the business world to serve Jerusalem on a salary of one shekel per year,” Barkat began, in a video announcement on his Facebook page. “Out of that sense of mission and responsibility for the future of Israel, I joined the Likud this morning.”
“In the last election, I stood and supported the Prime Minister and Likud,” he continued. “As someone who believes in maintaining the Land of Israel and Jerusalem united, strengthening security and reducing social disparities, I cannot remain a bystander.”
“A mass movement to join Likud, to infuse the party with new blood and new spirit, will strengthen the leadership to serve the public free of extraneous considerations,” he said, calling on the people of Jerusalem to join the party. “A mass registry in Jerusalem would also enhance and enable the city to obtain its rightful place in the distribution of national resources.”
Barkat then reflected on his personal role in the city’s future.
“Jerusalem is my life’s mission,” he said. “We have a job to do, and I will continue to serve as Jerusalem’s mayor, at least until the end of the current term.”
“I will make the decision in the future whether to run again or continue to serve the public on the national level,” he added. “You have the right to be part of how we shape the country in the next several years. Join me in joining the Likud – today.”
The announcement follows rumors both of early Likud primaries and Barkat’s possible candidacy as a contender in those primaries. Early reports claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu views Barkat as a rival for leadership of the party, currently the largest and most influential in the Knesset.