The mayor of Or Yehuda to new heads of authorities: “Get used to it. This is a golden time”

The Mayor of Or Yehuda, Liat Shohat, was a guest yesterday (Wednesday) at a special meeting held by the Home Front Command for new mayors as part of the emergency preparedness.

Shohat participated in the Amitalim learning panel that dealt with the point of view of heads of authorities on the current war and the preparation for the next campaign in the Israeli home front, a panel moderated by the journalist Netali Shem Tov.

Along with Shohat, the mayor of Rishon Lezion, Raz Kinstlich, the head of the regional council Bnei Shimon, Nir Zamir, the head of the Kasra Samie local council, Yasser Gadavan, and the head of the Kfar Vardim local council, Eyal Shmueli, also participated.

In her words to the new mayors, Shohat said: “What I learned in my years as mayor is that if I don’t have myself, who will I have?” With all due respect to all the security and emergency forces, including the Home Front Command, I always assume that when there is a catastrophe or when something happens, I am alone. I trust ourselves first and foremost. We purchase quite a bit of equipment ourselves and from our own budgets, do our exercises, of course in cooperation with the Home Front Command, but the initiative is ours.”

Shohat also referred to the force multiplier of the volunteers, adding: “I always knew that the human capital of the workers and volunteers is the real force multiplier. Despite the fears and concerns after October 7, everyone was out there to contribute and help with anything and every task. The value of volunteering everywhere was high, but I felt that our volunteers are really something out of the ordinary and we do a lot of actions to preserve them for the next challenge that will come.”

Shohat also talked about the Or Yehuda municipality’s preparations for the northern scenario, and noted: “I think the public still hasn’t internalized that a war against Hezbollah could involve a lot of losses and damage. There are those who think that they are just trying to scare, but it will really be challenging. We, for our part, are prepared with mass sponsorships. We got used to opening a parking lot and we continue to make the necessary preparations to arrive as prepared as possible.”

In closing, Shohat ended with an important tip for the new heads of authorities, saying: “I recommend everyone to practice and practice again. This is a golden time. I call on my friends, despite the exhaustion and fatigue, to take advantage of these days to practice the municipality’s tactics in a water crisis, in a power outage, in opening a mass shelter. The exercises we did allowed us to bridge gaps that we did not recognize before the exercise.”

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