Aliza Bloch, the first female mayor of Beit Shemesh, sent an official letter on Sunday to several council members, including her deputies, denying them all the powers delegated in the coalition agreements, Srugim reported (דרמה בעיריית בית שמש). The sacked politicians are Avraham Frenkel and Shimon Goldberg from Agudah, Israel Silberstein from Degel HaTorah, and Moshe Sheetrit, Shalom Edri, and Zvi Wolitzky from Likud.
The firing is Bloch’s response to these former coalition members’ vote on an irregular budget proposed by the mayor at the last council meeting, in which most members voted against Bloch in retaliation for her failure to fulfill agreements giving their parties classrooms for the students in their constituencies.
Mayor Bloch issued a statement saying, “Out of a sense of responsibility for the future of the city and its residents I cannot allow further damage to the city by those who have authority but have no responsibility.”
According to Bloch, “a reality in which the deputy mayors and council members harm thousands of the city’s students and deprive them of classrooms, in the older city, in Ramat Beit Shemesh Dalet, and Neve Shamir, is irresponsible. A reality in which council members do not allow proper work at the municipal departments is unacceptable to me. I will continue to follow the perception of the common good, but with true partners and not alongside coalition members who behave like an opposition.”
Bloch wrote each sacked member of her coalition that “based on a common vision and perception of the future of the city of Beit Shemesh, I entrusted to you various powers. The purpose of depositing these powers in your hands was to strengthen and develop the city of Beit Shemesh in various areas.” However, the mayor continued, “recently, on a number of occasions, you have chosen to act in a manner that is fatal to these targets, inflicting an injury that could harm the development of the city of Beit Shemesh. In light of all the above, my trust in you has been eroded and out of responsibility for the future of the city of Beit Shemesh, and in accordance with section 17 of the Local Authorities Law, I would like to inform you of my decision that within 48 hours of sending this letter, all the powers I have delegated to you will be revoked.”
In 2018, Aliza Bloch defeated 10-year incumbent mayor Moshe Abutbul by 533 votes. She a dark horse in the race and campaigned on a platform of providing better services and infrastructure in Beit Shemesh. Bloch, a Religious Zionist candidate, pledged to unite and accommodate the city’s Haredi, secular, and American oleh communities. She was endorsed by a wide spectrum of Israeli political parties, including Jewish Home, Likud, Labor, Kulanu, and Yesh Atid.