Barnet is a model for bolstering civic pride in Jerusalem, according to a London-born deputy mayor of the city.
Fleur Hassan-Nahoum met Barnet Conservative councillors Eva Greenspan and Anthony Finn at Hendon Town Hall on Monday to compare notes on local government in London and Israel.
Speaking after the meeting, she said: “What I love about London, and Barnet in particular, is that London is very cosmopolitan, very varied and mixed, and that’s similar to Jerusalem. The difference is every community is very political about its interests in Jerusalem but here it’s more civic. I want people in Jerusalem to be less political about local government and move it away from national politics.”
She also praised London’s approach to conservation and said preserving historic architecture alongside the need to build a modern capital city was proving a significant challenge in Jerusalem.
Mrs Hassan-Nahoum was born in London and raised in Gibraltar where her father, Sir Joshua Hassan, was a key figure in the civil rights movement and the Rock’s first prime minister. She has been an Israeli resident since 2001 and a member of Jerusalem City Council since May 2016, being appointed a deputy mayor in December 2017.
A member of the liberal Jerusalemites party, she has been involved in promoting employment and small business creation among the city’s impoverished Hasidic and Arab populations. She is visiting London as part of a speaking tour of the British Isles organised by the Zionist Federation.
Cllr Greenspan, who represents the Finchley Church End ward, said: “It was lovely to meet Fleur and very interesting to hear how different countries approach local government. It was also fascinating to hear how someone born in London and raised in Gibraltar can go so far in Israeli politics. With municipal elections for Jerusalem coming up in August, we wish her all the best.”
Mrs Hassan-Nahoum will be speaking in London on Thursday 5th July. For more information, visit the Zionist Federation website at: https://zionist.org.uk/event/fhn/