Oct 2, 2008

Moshe Abutbol - a brilliant slogan

While I was out running last night, I had the opportunity to pay attention to some election campaigning by Shas candidate for mayor of BS, Moshe Abutbol. The opportunity presented itself in the form of a sign on the back of a bus that I happened to be running behind for a few minutes.

The sign said "There are no secular, there are no religious, we are all Jews. Vote Moshe Abutbol".

It is actually a brilliant approach. He knows that many of the old Bet Shemesh secular and traditional (really the traditional more than the secular) residents would not vote for a Haredi candidate for mayor. They think of the haredim as having stolen their city from them, as the haredim have moved en masse to BS and have nearly become a majority in the city over the past 10 years or so.

Even though Abutbol is haredi, he makes absolutely no mention of it in his slogan, and he had no picture of himself on the sign. He did not say "no haredi and no secular". He said "no religious and no secular". He does not want the old BS people thinking about the word haredi in his context.

As long as they do not associate him with haredi, he has a chance of getting their vote. he is one of them in a sense - he is sfardi, he has been in BS for a long time - over twenty years. As long as he does not remind them that he is haredi and represents a haredi party, he has a chance at getting their votes.

What is really slick about it is that while he is playing down his being haredi as much as possible during his campaign, he comes to the other haredi party, UTJ, with a complaint how can it be that they have not come out supporting the haredi candidate. He runs portraying himself as not haredi, but just another person, but then attacks UTJ for not supporting him.

The truth is that he is probably better off, for now, without their support. When they come out in support of Abutbol, he will start losing his support from the old BS people. It is not Shas that has taken the city from old BS - Shas has always been a power in BS, since its formation. It is UTJ people who have moved to BS the past 10 years making it nearly a haredi majority.

So, Abutbol should really stick with his current slogan, and hope that UTJ continues to take its time coming out in support of him.


  1. Is this similar to the sign with all (actually most as there was one obviously missing) of the local tzedaka organizations sitting around Rav Chaim Kanievsky's table and saying "only give to your local organizations" and right next to it a sign saying that Rav Chaim Kanievsky urges EVERYONE to give to: Kupat HaIr, Vaad Artzi, etc?

  2. hey anon -- do you think that that obviously missing tzedakah org is losing money to the kupat hair of bnei brak? I doubt it, and therefore there was no need for them to be represented at that meeting. Dont always look for issues.

    Its looking more and more that the chareidim will back abutbol. MM is on the way out. Most of the rabbonim have had enough of him and more importantly enough of Danny.
    Why hasnt Lerner courted the chareidi vote in the meantime?

  3. I don't think that anyone is losing money to Kupat Ha'ir.The only ones making issues are the losers who think they need a model(the gadol hador in this case) to promote their tzedaka

    Don't be so paranoid!

  4. It isn't that they need a model. It's simply to counter the Kupat Hair appeals that claim RCK holds everyone should to Kupat Hair as the most mehudar. The message is: Not if you live in BS/RBS. The best place is obviously, your own home town.

  5. Hamasig,

    I hear what you are saying but if that is so why did the local organizations leave another important one out?

  6. leave out of what? Lemaan Achai (the one who shall not be named, it seems) is not a haredi organization, and the other kupot are. That trip was purely a haredi event. There is nothing sinister involved.

    Be happy that they did not use the slogan they used last time, mis-quoting Rav C Kanievsky as if he said to give specifically to the kupa of RBS, when really he said to give to any local kupat tzedaka. This time they quoted him accurately saying that he said to give to local kupot. So now you can decide which local kupa to give to (as if you could not decide that before they got the quote from Rav K)...

  7. Rafi,

    In all due respect, what makes an organization Charedi?

    The people who run it? Lema'an Achai is run by both charedim and dati.

    The people that they help? Lema'an Achai helps mostly charedim (although dati as well).

    If the Kupot in that picture consider themselves exclusively charedi they shouldn't be advertising in non charedi areas and shuls.

    You can't have the "best" of both worlds and then try to exclude similar types of organizations.

  8. I won't get into the Kupot/Charedi question but one thing is certainly chutzpa:

    Hanging posters from other kupot and interests on Lema'an Achai's wall on Dolev.

    That is private property!

    I mean you'd think that during Elul and Tishrei some organizations would be a little more careful.

    Kol Hakavod to Lema'an Achai for not calling the city or the cops for that one.

    They certainly have my respect.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...