San Francisco Mayoral Candidate Runs Campaign with Jewish Flavor
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San Francisco Mayoral Candidate Runs Campaign with Jewish Flavor

A black, Jewish mayoral candidate in San Francisco is borrowing a page out of Ehud Barak’s campaign playbook — and making relations with Israel a centerpiece of his campaign strategy.

Mark “Moshe” Hardie, a 28-year-old lawyer and convert to Orthodox Judaism, has adopted “One San Francisco” as the central theme of his Republican campaign, “echoing the successful `One Israel’ campaign of Ehud Barak,” according to a report issued by his campaign team.

According to the report, Hardie has also promised to:

Invite Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak to San Francisco for an official address;

Make Jerusalem the primary sister city of San Francisco;

Open a San Francisco trade office in Jerusalem to promote bilateral trade;

Lead a trade delegation of high-tech, business and religious leaders to Israel;

Promote development of a state-of-the-art Jewish commercial center, with kosher restaurants, Jewish bookstores, Judaic shops and family-oriented movie theaters;

Make kosher meals available at all city-owned dining facilities;

Place an “eruv,” or a wall, around San Francisco to facilitate Shabbat observance;

Launch a “War on Anti-Semitism and Hate Crime” in conjunction with Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League;

Convince major entertainment companies to open affiliate offices in San Francisco;

Take steps to increase the Jewish population of San Francisco.

Hardie also called on several Jewish members of the entertainment industry, including Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen and Michael Eisner to serve on his campaign committee because “I stand for tzedakah,” or charity.

In his election bid, Hardie is taking on incumbent Mayor Willie Brown, also an African-American and one of California’s most skilled politicians.

But Hardie is encouraged by a recent poll in the San Francisco Examiner newspaper in which 71 percent of respondents said they were unhappy with Brown’s performance.

The nonpartisan election is scheduled for November.

Hardie, who served as a special assistant to former Gov. Pete Wilson of California, made news earlier this year when he erected signs along the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles, demanding freedom for Ron Arad, the Israeli airman missing since 1986, when his plane was shot down over Lebanon.

Hardie has already been elected vice president for legal and public affairs at Magain David Sephardic Congregation.

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