web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



New Vote for Justice, Democracy in Beit Shemesh

"The findings of the police investigation indicate serious criminal activity."
Beit Shemesh residents demonstrating against electoral fraud in the recent mayoral election. The signs read (L-R) "They stole our city" and "[Incumbent Mayor] Abutbul stole the elections."

Beit Shemesh residents demonstrating against electoral fraud in the recent mayoral election. The signs read (L-R) "They stole our city" and "[Incumbent Mayor] Abutbul stole the elections."
Photo Credit: Yaakov Lederman/Flash90

In a dramatic development, two appeals were submitted to the Jerusalem District Court this week – to overturn the Beit Shemesh municipal election results of 22nd October.

Beit Shemesh incumbent mayor Moshe Abutbol responded to the appeals by stating “these people have no respect for democracy”, pointing out the he had won the election – and this should be respected by all parties.

After months of contentious and heated political campaigning between incumbent mayor Moshe Abutbol and challenger Eli Cohen – the election count showed only 950 votes separated the two contenders.

Even more dramatic was the arrest of eight ultra-orthodox men, on election day itself, and the discovery of over 200 identity cards in two apartments, and in a vehicle, in the city.

Eli Cohen has since put together an investigation team which has worked closely with the authorities to discover the extent and nature of the election fraud – with the expressed aim of appealing the election results in order to have them overturned, and a new fair election called.

1425695_10201529948543801_1161203455_n

Large demonstrations have also taken place in front of the new Municipal Building – bringing national politicians and local activists together, to protest the use of fraud and unethical tactics in the Abutbol campaign. The slogans “We’re not giving up on Beit Shemesh!” and “Purity of Elections” rallied thousands of people.

In parallel, the Cohen team appealed to the Knesset Interior Ministry’s Elections Committee, presenting evidence and indications of widespread fraud and irregularities which, in their assessment, would have made the critical difference in tipping the election results in Abutbol’s favour. Various ultra-orthodox MK’s also attended, and lambasted Cohen and his supporters as simply being “chareidi-bashers” and “bad losers”.

And Cohen’s team also approached the Attorney General, Yehudah Weinstein, who initially responded that he “does not hold the authority to overturn an election result”.

In parallel to all this, the police investigation has been taken to a higher level, bringing in the Organized Crime Unit to investigate the election fraud in Beit Shemesh. These are the people who take on the mafia.

In a dramatic and unprecedented break-through today, not only did Eli Cohen submit his appeal to the court, but so did the Attorney General, Yehudah Weinstein, with his recommendation to the court to overturn the Bet Shemesh elections.

This is hugely significant, in that Weinstein represents the Government of Israel to the court. Weinstein, unlike the Cohen team, has direct insight into the developments of the police investigations.

In Weinstein’s appeal to the court, and in an official statement by the Ministry of Justice, they state:

“The findings of the police investigation indicate serious criminal activity, which was systematic, deliberate and institutionalised, involving dozens of people and the investment of substantial financial resources. All this was used to deliberately change the election results.”

I have also participated, in a small way, in this investigation and I can concur that I found widespread gaps, inaccuracies and falsehoods in the election lists. People were listed who had moved many years ago, dead people, people who had never lived in their stated address, houses filled with impossible numbers of voters, and with a cocktail of family names.

Even if this was simply chaotic bungling in the electoral rolls, it would clearly leave huge potential for widespread election fraud, by anyone organized, motivated and immoral enough to do it.

As indeed seems to have been the case…

According to the Weinstein’s appeal, organized groups called people on the voters registry, approached people in synagogues and in their homes, and offered them cash for fraudulently using their IDs and voter cards.

Weinstein’s appeal has, in itself, vindicated the Cohen team’s protest of the election fraud, and their refusal to simply accept the vote count and go home.

The chances of a new election in Beit Shemesh have now shot up from “highly unlikely” to “probable”. The final word will be from the three judges court – they will sit to review the evidence on 10th December.

In the event they decide to proceed with a new election, it will be critically important that the whole election process be supervised by the police, that people who supervise the balloting and count the votes are scrutinised and imported from outside Beit Shemesh – and that every safeguard is used to preserve the “purity of democracy”.

No less important is the tone and content of the campaign itself.

The official Abutbol campaign was characterised by outrageous rhetoric and inciteful statements.

Holocaust imagery – such as crying ultra-orthodox kids behind barbed wire fences – was used to frighten voters into voting for Abutbol. This was taken up in the streets by people who hurled “Nazi” epithets at Cohen and his supporters.

RBSAbutbolKolKorei+(1)Illegal “Kol Korei” announcements were openly published in Moshe Abutbol’s propaganda newspaper, Chadash, and proudly hung in many synagogues. These went far beyond the permitted “endorsement” of parties and candidates, and crossed the red line into criminality (5 year prison sentence) by claiming to be speaking in the name of God, dispensing blessings (on supporters) and curses (on anyone who voted against the prescribed party/candidate). Even several anglo community rabbonim signed up on these documents – who have no excuse for failing to understanding the principles & practices of of western democracy.

The next election, whether in a few week’s time, or in five years time, must take heed, learn from and fix the criminality and excesses of the October 2013 Moshe Abutbol campaign.

Visit Tzedek-Tzedek.

About the Author: David Morris has been nominated for the President of Israel's Prize 2010. He is an entrepreneur in the fields of charity and electro-optics; Established Lema'an Achai ("For My Brothers"), the innovative community social services charity in Ramat Bet Shemesh, "Magen", the Bet Shemesh Child Protection Agency, and "Yad LeYedid" (A Hand to a Friend) charity helping impoverished families in Jerusalem. His day-job as Owner/CEO of Scitronix Ltd is marketing sophisticated electro-optical products to high tech industries in Israel. David is the proud dad of six amazing children, and luckiest-husband-in-the-world of Julie Morris.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “New Vote for Justice, Democracy in Beit Shemesh”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Split the city in two. These groups of people are never going to live together. Every future election is going to be a toxic fight like this. Cut your losses. As I understand the Haredi and the non-Haredi live in different areas and the city could be split. If you don't this is going to be ground zero for the foreseeable future.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Moshe Kachlon (L) and Avigdor Liberman (R)
Liberman’s Secret Plan to be Crowned Prime Minister
Latest News Stories

Was top Hezbollah terrorist a spy for Israel?

israel polls

Reshet Bet has released their latest election poll…

ISIS terrorists.

Radical US Jewish lawyer involved in attempt to unite terrorists.

False Alarm 2

12:36 PM – Army admits that a rocket actually landed in Israel in an open area. This is the first time since Operation Protective Edge that the IDF admits that a rocket landed within Israel’s territory. No injuries or damage reported. 11:46 AM A rocket alert was heard in the Eshkol region. The IDF is […]

Israelis will Celiac disease will now be allowed to join combat units.

Teenager attacked Jews on their way to holy site.

Four in serious condition; doctors not sure why.

Liberman and Kachlon may merge right after elections – and the larger party will recommend Liberman for Prime Minister to the President.

A Chabad rabbinic student stabbed in “770″ has returned home from the hospital.

Arabs attacked an Israeli bus traveling between Arad and Be’er Sheva along Highway 31 Thursday evening.

The UN General Assembly approves resolution to refer N. Korea to the Intl Criminal Court at The Hague.

Israeli soldiers stand guard near large public menorah near the site where Dalia Lemkus, 26, was stabbed to death at a bus stop near the entrance to Alon Shvut last month.

US teachers are learning “3-D printing” from the Dept. of Defense.

The U.S. government has definitely linked North Korea to the cyber terror siege of Sony Pictures.

U.S. lawmakers were divided, but many upset, about Pres. Barack Obama’s secret talks that restored full relations with Cuba.

Harvard announced it will “look into” its boycott of SodaStream. But will it remove the boycott?

More Articles from David Morris
jude-anti-semitism-300x203-oztorah.jpg

Of course, our enemies will try to use Holocaust references in their attempts to condemn Israel’s activities and policies.

None of the security fences around the world look like this fence which can barely contain livestock.

The charedim and the Zionists in Beit Shemesh are contemplating a “divorce.”

In the universal contest between the blues and the reds, one side will invariably win, the other lose.

Eli Cohen is now the nationally-known face of electoral integrity and honesty in Israel.

The voice of the middle ground is more important than ever, yet perhaps too soft to be heard at all.

Eli Cohen, the challenging candidate for mayor, recently announced at a campaign meeting in Beit Shemesh that “this time, the dead won’t vote!”

As if there was not enough drama in the re-called contentious Beit Shemesh municipal elections!

Moshe Abutbul has taken the knee-jerk response to all criticism and perceived threats.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-vote-for-justice-democracy-in-beit-shemesh/2013/11/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: