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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Minister of the Interior’

The Third Option in Beit Shemesh

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

We welcome blogger David Morris, who will keep us posted on events in Beit Shemesh from an American-Zionist perspective. For more on the election, go to: Beit Shemesh – We Was Robbed.

The use of criminal, illegal and immoral tactics by the ‘winning’ Moshe Abutbol campaign in Bet Shemesh, has led to various practical options to resolve the situation.

Option One Is to Re-Run the Disputed Election. 

I understand there are precedents for this in Israel, and the logistics do not need to be complicated. There is already a system for 2nd round elections in the case that no candidate for mayor obtains more than 40% of the vote. These 2nd round municipal elections will all be taking place around the country on 5th November.

So, in principle, adding Beit Shemesh to that list of second-round municipal elections on 5th November is feasible.

A problem is finding a mechanism which would force this election to be re-run.

I cannot see Moshe Abutbol voluntarily agreeing to a new election.

The Supreme Court would need to rule – and that would require legal proof of the nature and scale of the fraud. The Supreme Court cannot judge immorality – which may stink, but is not a factor in law.

Another problem is that, even in a second round election, the results will likely be a similarly bitter 50/50 split of the population, and whoever wins that election will also not have a popular legitimacy to rule the other 50%. The division in the city will remain, even if another mayor wins.

Option Two Is to Physically Split Beit Shemesh

Gidon Saar, Minister of the Interior, is due to evaluate dusted-off plans to split the city of Beit Shemesh into hareidi and non-hareidi cantons.

There would be two Town Councils – Beit Shemesh would have one, and Ramat Beit Shemesh another. Maps have been widely publicized in the press showing the possible split-up of the territories.

People point to Modein and Modein Ilit (Kireat Sefer) as a precedent.

To me, this looks like a logistical and bureaucratic nightmare – in the case of Beit Shemesh which, unlike Modein/Modein Ilit, is a 50 year old town. It would seem to be very complicated, expensive and the legalities would likely take years.

Option Three – Splitting the City by Time, Not Geography

I therefore propose a third solution to the current messy situation.

The precedent is the Shamir/Peres Government between 1984-88. Due to inconclusive election results in 1984, the two opposing leaders agreed to be prime minister for two years each. (More info here)

I suggest an agreement between Moshe Abutbol and Eli Cohen to split the term of office, so that each becomes mayor for 2.5 years. For the other 2.5 years they would each be a deputy mayor.

This will be seen by (close to) 100% of the population to be reasonable and fair, a mature approach to resolving differences, and should buy the city 5 years of fully functioning calm.

This does not require complex and costly logistics.

It is achievable by the two men simply signing an agreement, and moving on.

Like the other two options, Moshe Abutbul of course will not voluntarily do this. After all, he’s sitting in power.

All three options require it being untenable for Moshe Abutbol to simply hold onto his mayor’s seat.

There needs to be huge public pressure – demonstrations, effective PR and media for the cause, utilising every legal recourse and civil disruption. (Recall Orot Banot?)

IMHO – the end result should be a time-split between the two candidates.

The Beit Shemesh Autumn? 

Visit Tzedek-Tzedek.

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/new-netanyahu-coalition-govt-all-cobbled-and-ready-maybe/2013/03/18/

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