At the Muni Expo 2019 that was run this week on the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds by the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, Lod Mayor Yair Revivo, a religious member of Likud, stood next to Tiberias Mayor Ron Kobi and confessed that he was one of Cobi’s biggest fans, Hadrei Haredim reported Friday.
This show of support from a religious mayor to a secular one is exceptional because Ron Cobi is the grand warrior against Haredi expansion in Israel’s cities and had Haredi officials been into the game of darts, there would have been a big bull’s eye with Cobi’s picture on it in every United Torah Judaism and Shas office in the land.
Since taking office in November, Cobi has led a secular revolution calling for opening Tiberias’ local businesses and public transportation on Shabbat – which is why he is despised by so many Haredim. But there’s more: a few days after the 2018 municipal elections elected, Cobi told Army Radio he intended to prevent the “Haredization” of Tiberias by fighting against housing projects intended for the Haredi community. He stated that “Tiberias cannot pass the 30% mark for Haredim. I want Tiberias to remain as it is now, with 22% Haredim.”
Lod Mayor Revivo declared at the Expo: “I very much hope that the next interior minister will be from the Likud and not from there (the Haredi parties), that is our hope. The interior minister must be from the Likud, I’ve said this to the ministers, it’s as important a post as the Education Ministry.”
Cobi thanked Revivo for his support and said that “if Bibi wants to win with 35-40 seats, he must declare that the interior minister’s portfolio will remain in Likud’s hands.”
To say that Shas, whose chairman, Aryeh Deri, is the current Interior Minister, and who supported Revivo in the municipal elections, are not going to be happy, is an epic understatement. Especially since only about a month ago, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri signed a municipal tax order yielding around 23 million shekels ($6.5 million) from Ben Gurion International Airport to the city of Lod.
There will be much gnashing of teeth in Shas this Shabbat, you betcha.