Secular Defeats Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem

Published: November 11, 2008

JERUSALEM — A secular, hawkish entrepreneur on Tuesday defeated an ultra-Orthodox, equally hawkish member of Parliament in a hotly contested race for mayor of Jerusalem, according to results announced early Wednesday.

As usual, the election was largely boycotted by Palestinians, who comprise a third of the city’s population.

The secular entrepreneur, Nir Barkat, 49, a self-made high-tech millionaire, has raised expectations in Jerusalem, the troubled capital and a city highly symbolic and holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews. He has pledged to revitalize and significantly develop the city, Israel’s poorest, and has said he would like to multiply the number of tourists visiting here from one or two million a year to 10 million.

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