Menu JTA Search

Palestine Government in Dilemma over Jerusalem Mayoralty; Jew Becomes Acting Mayor

The political situation in Palestine became more complicated today as Daniel Auster, Jewish deputy mayor of Jerusalem, automatically became acting mayor of the city following the sudden death yesterday of Mustapha Hey Khalidi, the Arab mayor.

Mayor Khalidi, whose anti-Jewish remarks at an Arab mayors’ conference in Jaffa recently, provoked a walk-out by Jewish members of the Jerusalem municipal council, died of a heart attack. He was 71 years old. Khalidi had been mayor of Jerusalem since 1939.

As the Jerusalem mayor is not elected but appointed by the Palestine Government, it is expected that the administration will face serious difficulties in deciding whether the next mayor should be an Arab or a Jew. The Jewish population of Jerusalem is much larger than the non-Jewish, including Moslems and Christians combined. The Jews also claim that ninety percent of the municipal taxes are paid by Jewish inhabitants.