Oct 10, 2008

Brilliant Move of the Week Award

Bet Shemesh politics has heated up this past week. As we get deeper into election season, it will continue to do so, but this week was particularly busy.

This week was the deadline for various parties to submit their final lists for candidacy for city council seats in the upcoming elections. People listed in the various parties lists will be competing in the elections for seats, and the positioning of the name on the list determines your spot in the party and whether you have a realistic chance to win a seat or not.

So all the various parties submitted their lists this week. There were some interesting developments.
  • UTJ's local party is in for a tough fight. Lots of people have been upset at them for some time. Add to that a number of people who were upset because they were being left off their lists and they wanted spots. Some of those people have opened their own splinter parties, most of which have absolutely no chance of getting more than a few hundred votes each (if that much). The most notable of these are TOV (which was announced a while back), a "general chassidik" party, and a party of people from the Mishkenos Yaakov of RBS. UTJ I am sure will be fighting to have these people drop out of the race. All that will happen is that they will waste a few hundred votes each, thus weakening UTJ.
  • UTJ settled their fight, it seems, about placement on the list. The Gerrer candidate for mayor, Ehrenreich, is heading the list at number one, with Shmulik Greenberg at number 2, and Moshe Montag at number 3. All three would be considered realistic spots, but they really have to get some of the splinter parties to disband and support them. If not, the number three spot could be in danger.
  • The most unusual move of the week was I think Natan Sheetrit being convinced to abandon his candidacy for mayor under the Ichud Leumi party list, and join up with current mayor Danny Vaknin. Vaknin secured the number two spot on the Likud list for Sheetrit, and promised him to be appointed in charge of education after the elections. This is an unusual move because Sheetrit has very little support of people behind him. I am not sure why Vaknin was even interested in him. Perhaps it was just to be able to show he has people behind him. The most unusual aspect of it, to me, is the fact that Sheetrit's whole selling point why he should be elected mayor is that he is the only one who has fought local corruption. The way he fought it was that after the last election in which he lost to Danny Vaknin, he appealed to the courts to overturn it. That was his big anti-corruption fight. But considering that he has campaigned on the line that Vaknin is corrupt and he is the "anti-Vaknin", it is unusual that he has now joined forces with Vaknin.
  • A few parties submitted some very well developed lists, refreshing their ranks and putting very hard working and impressive people on their lists, even if in unrealistic spots: Mafdal, Shalom Lerners party put together an impressive list of people, including our good friend David Morris in the number 5 spot. TOV put together a nice list, including Rav Alon, which will pretty much guarantee their passing the threshold and make their fight really for the second seat. The list is headed by Eli Friedman, Rav Alon and Mendy Newman, with other spots going notably to Ari Rosenstein at number 4, and Rav Raviv Shaked at number 7. This list is pretty good and should make their fight for the second, or even a third, seat on the council. The next one is what i consider the best, and perhaps most surprising, move in local politics this week. It therefore will get its own bullet, even though it really fits in this category.
  • CHEN submitted its list for the upcoming elections, and they made a brilliant move. CHEN pretty much had no presence in RBS in the last elections, and since then as well. Losing Rav Alon (to TOV) could potentially have been a big blow to CHEN. They made a brilliant move and somehow convinced Ephrayim Naiman to officially join CHEN (he had been working with them for a number fo years unofficially) and include his name in the number 2 spot on the list. The list is headed by Zvi Wolicki, Ephrayim Naiman and David Geudalia. In my eyes, getting Ephrayim Naiman on board is the most brilliant political move of the week. he is a powerhouse here in RBS. Everybody loves him because of how much he does around the neighborhood and because he, and his whole family, is just a great and positive person. They should surpass their expectations because of signing up Ephrayim.
Election season should keep getting more interesting, but I hereby give the award of "Brilliant move of the Week" to CHEN for getting Ephrayim Naiman on board.


  1. Unusual to campaign aginst someone and then run with him? Just politics as usual.

  2. I was leaning towards TOV.
    But now.....
    What does Chen stand for?

  3. MOI - yes it is...

    anon - I will be asking, after the chagim, both TOV and CHEN, and maybe some other parties, to send me their "platform" - what they want to accomplish and what their "derech" is.
    In actuality, TOV and CHEN seem very similar, if slightly different in the supporters. They were even negotiating a merger, which unfortunately seems to have not worked out.
    As I see it now, people supporting TOV are people who would otherwise be voting Degel (UTJ) - charedi baalebatim mostly, both anglo and Israeli.
    I think people supporting CHEN are more or less a dynamic with similar concerns, but their supporters mostly would probably be voting Mafdal (if not for CHEN).

    Their platforms are pretty similar, and their statements are pretty similar.

    Again, I will be trying to get statements from them for posting on policy and derech.

  4. If you ask me the big winner of the week is Tov in that unlike Vaknin putting a non vote winner Shitreet at number 2 they succeeded in getting a proven vote winner Rav Alon to join them and not Chen. EJ being at number 2 on the chen list is damage limitation. He is a wonderful man but will he be able to bring in the votes like Rav Alon? The truth is, both Tov and Chen will have to work very hard to get a seat but the end result may be that they just stop each other from being elected.

  5. 1. some peope are saying that shitreet's move was an ingenious one. vaknin is getting set to undergo a corruption trial - the one with the fake diplomas. if vaknin get's bounced out then shitreet becomes the number one man in likud. although vaknin claims to be innocent and probably will squirmish through the case, shitreet probably feels he'll be found guilty making it a great move.

    2. mishkenos ended up not making their own party, settling for the number 7 or 8 spot in UTJ. although rumor is that they tried a last minute bout for their own party but missed the deadline.

    3. another great move was that of meir porush and the shlomey emunim party. they got the number 4 spot in UTJ while opening their own klal chasidim party leaving all their options open.

    4. as of now there has been no talk of convicing tov to join with UTJ, although greenberg's precense in the number 2 spot could be an opener to discussions.

  6. and on that note, the klal chassidim just disbanded and are not running separately. they were convinced (by abutbol I think) it would be a bad move.

  7. tov getting rav alon was a great move, and it seems to make their minimum threshhold passage happening, and perhaps help them even get a second. But that was in the works for a while. It was unofficially announced, then retracted a couple of times while in negotiations...

    I think the chen move was bigger, because aside form the personality, it also gives them a presence in rbs a, and it will take a decent number of tov's potential supporters from the anglo community.

  8. I haven't been here long enough to bother following the elections, but it is a bit exciting when I actually know a few people running!

    If my kids menahel is running for a seat, do Ihave to vote for him?!?!

  9. But do the maths rafi. Can EJ make up for the votes that Rav Alon brought in last time?

  10. eliezer - if you tell him you did, it can only be good for you... then again, nobody knows what goes on behind the ballot box, so you can vote for whomever you want and tell him you voted for him!

    chaim - that is the question. tov is convinced not. I spoke to Eli Friedman today and he thinks chen will still not pass the minimum and that tov will easily.

  11. who is your kids menahel that is running for a seat?

  12. Shmuel Greenberg, He's the menahel of Tashbar - very nice guy

  13. I undertand that Tov is trying to represent a demographic or two that are arguably left out of the electoral process of Chareidi politics. Who does Chen represent? Last time they got 1 seat together with Alon and lots of people who will likely vote Tov this time around. How many DL people out there that won't vote for Mafadal in a local election? The Anglo/Israeli divide isn't the same as it is in Haredi circles, and putting David Morris in a borderline spot will matter a lot more that putting Ephraim Naiman in an unrealistic one. If someone DL out there is planning on voting for Chen and not Mafdal, can they please post? I'd be curious to know why.
    A Gutte Kvittle

  14. anon - you think the number 5 spot on mafdal is borderline realistic? in this past session of the city council not a single party had more than 3 seats. Do you really think the mafdal has grown so much that it could be fighting for a fifth seat?

  15. I'm DL, and I'm planning on voting CHEN in the elections. They have a proven record of really getting things done.

    Also... they are my bosses and the more attention they pay to city council the less attention they'll pay to me! (j/k)

  16. Rafi-I posted before about David Morris I didn't realize he was #5 which is quite unrealistic indeed.
    Anonomys DL Chen voter- Aside from your place or employment why do you prefer Chen over Mafdal,the latter also seems to get things done, so why vote for a party that's chances are getting in are quite brdernline?

  17. David Geudalia? He's great! (Went to YU with him...)


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