The best analysis I’ve seen of Nir Barkat’s election victory in Jerusalem, and how the press has misreported it as a “secular upheaval,” is Amos Goldberg’s at Ynet. Unfortunately, it’s only up in Hebrew. If you read from right to left, click the link. If not, here’s a taste.
…In Jerusalem, this strict and destructive dichotomy between “religious” and “secular” as two options that exclude each other doesn’t exist.
Jerusalem is a city of daily interactions that allow countless possibility across a wide range of identities. The distinction between “religious” and “secular” in Jerusalem is a soft one, not polar and compartmentalized…
In contrast to its image, Jerusalem is in many ways the most pluralistic city in Israel, and for that reason it provides a real alternative to the “secularism” of rich, self-satisfied and prejudiced Tel Aviv…
Barkat won, Goldberg says, because Menachem Porush’s version of ultra-Orthodoxy was itself too extreme, too exclusive. A more moderate ultra-Orthodox figure would have done better among many of the voters incorrectly identified by the Tel Aviv press as “secular.”
He also suggests that the desire for walls between Arab and Jew, as exclusive unbending categories is stronger in Tel Aviv. Instead of serving those prejudices, Barkat will succeed if he softens them. Goldberg expresses that as a hope, not an expectation. He’s not enamored of the new, nationalist mayor.
I don’t know where in the city Goldberg lives. But he speaks a South Jerusalem dialect.