People wandering around the streets of Jerusalem these days cannot avoid noticing the giant posters in which the word “Judaize” takes up a large amount of space. Bulletin boards greet everyone with provocative banners screaming, “Cock-a-doodle-doo Muezzin.” These messages — signaling encroachment on, and humiliation of, the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem — are the highlights of the “United Jerusalem” List’s election propaganda. The list is headed by Shmuel Shakdi, a right-wing activist, and Aryeh King, who channels his energies into injecting settlers into the Palestinian neighborhoods of the city.
While we might be tempted to dismiss this anti-Arab propaganda as the kind of marginal ultra-nationalistic phenomenon that exists all over the world, it is hard to ignore that both of Jerusalem’s mayoral candidates share close ideological stances. The two candidates for leadership of one of the most complicated and explosive cities in the world are Nir Barkat, the incumbent mayor, and Moshe Leon, who heads the Likud-Beiteinu faction. Barkat, who recently boasted about his participation in the inauguration ceremony for the new settlement in Jabal Mukhaber, has won the support of the left-wing Labor and Meretz parties. Leon, former Foreign Minister's Avigdor Liberman’s personal emissary, is making efforts to ‘pass Barkat on the right’ and even publicly hugs King and his partners.