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Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Attorney General Asks Court to Order New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has decided to appeal to the Jerusalem District Court for an order to annul last month’s disputed local elections in Beit Shemesh and to order a new vote.

He said that a police investigation of alleged fraudulent voting showed sufficient evidence to support charges that vote were cast by people who used identity cards of those out of the city or might not even be living. Shas Haredi religious incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul narrowly won the election, beating Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen, who also is appealing to the court to cancel the election.

Police have said that their investigation has widened to include several people beyond those who were present at the raid of forged identify cards shortly before the election.

A police raid on two homes before the elections last month uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots. Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city at the time of the voting.

Supporters for Jewish Home candidate Cohen also accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Attorney General May Appeal to Court for New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The smell of election fraud in Beit Shemesh is beginning to stink so much that residents may get a chance to flush the sewage and vote a second time for a mayor, perhaps without phony voters.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is considering an appeal to the courts to order new municipal elections in the city in the wake of deepening suspicions by police investigators of widespread fraud among Haredi backers of incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

The Justice Ministry told Israel Radio, which reported on Weinstein’s concerns Monday, that the attorney general is following the police probe and will issue a decision in several days concerning an appeal to the courts. A court order to cancel elections and hold a re-run is rare but not without precedent.

The recent election was bitterly fought between Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen and Mayor Abutbul, backed by the Shas party. Abutbul won a narrow victory, winning 51.9 percent of the vote while Cohen won 46.1 percent.

Jewish Home hollered ”foul” and raised questions whether Abutbul’s voters really were the same people who cast the ballots.

A police raid on two homes before the elections last month uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots.

Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city at the time of the voting.  Supporters for Jewish Home candidate Cohen also accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Police investigators have discovered that the alleged fraud ran far and deep, and Israel Radio said there are suspicions that many more people were involved.

Beit Shemesh has been deeply divided over the past several years between local secular and national religious communities on one side and Haredi and extreme Haredi groups on the other.

The bitterness in the city has caught brought unwanted international attention to Beit Shemesh, which has a large number of Americana and British immigrants.

Violence and hate attacks reached the point where one Haredi man spat on a young girl, daughter of American olim, who eventual left the city.

Beit Shemesh: the Purple Zone

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

If you take a look at the voting map of Beit Shemesh during this past fiery election, you’ll note that the city is divided into unambiguous blue (Moshe Abutbol voters) and red (Eli Cohen voters) sectors.

Flare-ups have typically taken place at the seams – such as the Orot school and subsequent disruptions.

There is one area which is ‘mixed’ – which shows as purple on the map. It’s an area within Ramat Beit Shemesh (Aleph) around Nahal Dolev, Refaim, Maor, etc..

beit shemesh vote

In an up-beat article, Daniel Treisman has declared the Purple Zone as an area characterized by tolerance, friendship and co-existence which can become a model for the rest of Beit Shemesh.

We have enough voices and people from all sides of the spectrum who want to make a change that we can make serious headway on all the serious issues that have come to light over the past few months.

But we have to do it together as a family.

I invite anyone living in the blue or red zone to help spread the purple zone.

Enthusiastic fellow purple-people have established a Facebook Page called The Purple Zone, and punned in Hebrew “Am Segula” (one meaning is “The Chosen People”, another is “The Purple People”!).

As a fellow purple person (my neighbors are composed of people who voted both Eli Cohen and Moshe Abutbol – and we all get on marvelously) I applaud this initiative.

It is a relief to have some up-beat positivism in this otherwise fraught period for Beit Shemesh!

Visit Tzedek-Tzedek.

Tea Party Preacher’s ‘False Religion’ Remark Upsets Jews

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

E.W. Jackson, the Republican Tea Party candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia, has labeled all non-Christians as having a “false religion” but when confronted by Jews, he said they are an exception to the rule.

“I’m a Christian. I’m a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “Of course, like every Christian, I believe that he’s the only way. But we understand that Christianity came out of Judaism. We have deep and profound respect for Judaism. We do not view Judaism as a false religion. I can’t say that about everything. But that is true of Judaism.”

Amen, brother. Hallelujah!

But his generous acceptance that Judaism is not a false religion did not satisfy the crowd at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center.

The moderator, Joel Rubin, asked Jackson, “Is Islam a false religion?” the Virginian-Pilot reported.

The Muslims didn’t get off the hook as well as the Jews, and Jackson didn’t directly answer the question. Instead, he asserted, “Look, I’m running for lieutenant governor. I’m not running to be theologian of Virginia. I am a preacher. That means I’ve got to serve people who are atheists and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and Mormons and of every background. So I don’t want to try to get into a theological analysis of what I think of various religions.”

So much for the Buddhist and Muslim vote.

If Jackson does not want to discuss his views on other religions, one would think the ordained minister would button his lip a bit more.

So far in the campaign, Jackson has denounced Planned Parenthood for killing more blacks than the Ku Klux Klan.

So it looks like he has lost the KKK vote, too.

His previous comments from the pulpit and elsewhere are likely to cost him a lot more votes. He has said that parents’ sins cause birth defects and that yoga leads to Satanism.

But, no, no, that is not what he believes come campaign time.

“I do not believe that birth defects are caused by parents’ sin unless, of course, there’s a direct scientific connection between the parents’ behavior and the disabilities of the child, such as a child who might develop birth defects if his or her mother was addicted to heroin,” he has said in self-defense during the current campaign.

“I do not believe that yoga leads to Satanism. One of my ministers is a yoga instructor. What I said was that Christian meditation does not involve emptying oneself but filling oneself … with the spirit of God. That is classic Biblical Christianity,” he explained.

So maybe he will win back the yoga vote.

Homosexuals are not exactly crazy about Jackson, who has declared that “homosexuality poisons culture,” but he argues his comment was taken out of context.

“What I really said was that the gay rights movement, so called, the homosexual activists, engage in some behavior that is absolutely horrendous, and that’s true, everybody knows that; from going into Catholic churches and desecrating the Sacraments to engaging in all kinds of demonstrative behavior to try to call attention to what they view as their plight,” he said.

Homosexuals need not worry because Jackson added, “I respect every human being, I don’t believe that there’s any second-class citizens in Virginia, I don’t treat anybody any differently because of their sexual orientation.”

Jackson wants voters to think that he can separate his views as a preacher from his functioning as Lieutenant Governor.

“I’m not going to spend the campaign talking about these issues, so let’s get it out of the way now,” he told a gathering in the Virginia suburb of Manassas, outside of Washington, D.C.

Time will tell if telling the Jews they aren’t so bad after all will win him the Jewish vote.

For the time being, the polls show that the voters are not thrilled with either Jackson or the Democratic party candidate, State Sen. Ralph Northam.

A new poll published on Wednesday shows that with election day two weeks away, 12 percent have a favorable view of Jackson, compared with 9 percent for Northam. However, a hefty 20 percent of the respondents have an unfavorable view of Jackson, compared with 5 percent who do not like Northam.

Police Raid of False IDs in Beit Shemesh Sign of Election Fraud

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The local elections in Beit Shemesh On Tuesday were held under the shadow of charges of fraud, highlighted by a police raid that uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots, which supporters of Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen charged were to be cast for Shas candidate Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

The raid was carried out in two Beit Shemesh homes by police, who had advanced information, said Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino. Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city.

Shas incumbent Abutbul won re-election in the hotly contest in a city that has suffered escalating violence and tensions between national religious and Haredi religious communities.

Last week, officials of the Interior Ministry told a Knesset hearing that it stopped a scheme for non-residents to vote in the Beit Shemesh election.

After Tuesday’s raids, Interior Minster Gideon Sa’ar that once the controversial bio-metric identification card system is introduced in all of Israel, phony IDs will be a thing of the past.

Supporters for Jewish Hone candidate Cohen were not satisfied that the police raid prevented fraud, and they accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Election Results for Jerusalem and Israel

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Overall, municipal election turnout in Israel was record low on Tuesday.

In Jerusalem, Nir Barkat easily won over candidate Moshe Lion, where only 35% of potential voters even bothered to vote.

Current results appear to indicate that Aryeh King won a seat on the Jerusalem city council.

In Efrat, Oded Ravivi won by a wide margin.

In Elad, UTJ’s candidate Yisrael Porush, beat Aryeh Deri’s candidate Tzuriel Krispel.

In Beit Shemesh Hareidi candidate Moshe Abutbul won by a very close margin. Now we’re waiting to see if an exodus of non-Hareidi residents begins.

In Modiin, Likud’s Haim Babas appears to have won.

In Ma’aleh, Adumim Benny Kashriel was reelected.

In Netanya, Miriam Feirberg was reelected.

In Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai won again.

Moshe Lion Claims Dirty Politics by Barkat’s Team in Jerusalem Race

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Last week Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion took a hit after the publication of Aryeh Deri’s statement on the race for Jerusalem’s mayor and what it means for national politics. This week Moshe Lion’s team have gone on the offensive, and are taking a shot at mayoral incumbent Nir Barkat.

Shas’s Aryeh Deri and Yisrael Beteinu’s Avigdor Liberman are strongly supporting Moshe Lion for the position of mayor of Jerusalem, in what is part of a larger battle in national coalition politics.

Aryeh Deri’s backing of Lion has hurt the candidate in National-Religious circles, where Deri is not looked upon favorably.

Since the death of Rav Ovadia, Shas is a less than united party, and there exists opportunities for outsiders to exploit those deep divisions and dislike of Aryeh Deri by many of those within the Shas party. The politically astute Aryeh Deri is in a weakened political position due to the death of the party’s spiritual head, and he needs this win to consolidate his power base around him.

Channel 2 reported on a recording of Kobi Kahlon, Barkat’s #4 on his City Council list, offering a Shas official control over the Hareidi Education portfolio and other committees in exchange for Shas’s support in the elections.

Lion’s people say this is proof that Barkat is selling out the residents of Jerusalem for the Chareidi vote.

Others might use the phrase “divide and conquer”.

JewishPress.com received the following quote from a spokesperson in the Moshe Lion campaign:

“Finally, Barkat’s true face has been revealed. While he accuses others of secret deals that don’t exist, except in his imagination, he is behind closed doors offering a blank cheque to the Haredim if they will just support him. This conversation represents merely the tip of the iceberg and is widely representative of the type of crooked conversations that have been taking place over the last few months and have already secured Barkat significant Haredi support. Just as he won the last election through backroom deals with the Haredim, Barkat is hoping to buy the elections at the expense of the residents of Jerusalem.”

Elections are on Tuesday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/moshe-lion-claims-dirty-politics-by-barkats-team-in-jerusalem-race/2013/10/21/

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