"What nobody dares to say," said one high-ranking figure in the Religious Zionist movement, "is that none of the 'big names' will agree to run unless he is assured of victory. And since no one could give assurance about that, we are left with candidates who have nothing to lose if they are not nominated," he said.
"Considering what is at stake, lack of courage and political calculations are obviously at play. Still, I believe that what we are witnessing here is another aspect of the 'Barkat effect.' Once Barkat proved that he and the residents of Jerusalem could turn over the situation and put a secular, young and Zionist leader as mayor instead of a haredi apparatchnik, people began to believe that change could also be affected on other issues. If you like, it's our local version of 'Yes. we can.'"