Keeping up with Irrepressible Pepe

Whether as a leading Jerusalem Council opposition member for Meretz or as sometime Deputy Mayor in the city's coalition administration, Yosef "Pepe" Alalu has been making quite a name for himself over the past few years.

Photo of Alalu, above, by Olivier Fitoussi, Ha'aretz

Most recently he protested a ruling that makes a formerly open car park in the Old City's Armenian Quarter "Jewish-only". This month he also opposed plans for building a military college in East Jerusalem as a provocation to resident Palestinians. In April he left the coalition that governs the Jerusalem municipality because of another scheme, to create a new Jewish neighbourhood in the east of the city. And last year he attacked plans to evict Palestinians from Sheikh Jarah, to make way for 16 new Jewish units.

Born in Peru, Pepe has also decried poor school standards in East Jerusalem; and while secular himself, he often looks out for the interests of haredi residents... Meretz UK says: Keep up the good work, Pepe! Thank goodness the holy city has at least one politician with integrity and principles.