Jan 24, 2010

Mayor Abutbol's true face in this fight finally comes out

Last week, Minister of Education weighed in on the fight in Bet Shemesh about the Public School Beit Sefer L'Safot in RBS. Gidon Saar stood up in Knesset and announced that the school will not be closed. Despite low registration, the school is an excellent school teaching ata high level and it ill not be closed. If registration continues to drop, he will recategorize the school as a school designated for a region rather than for a specific neighborhood.

In response Mayor Moshe Abutbol sent Saar a scathing letter calling him out for making a "political decision". Abutbol said that he will continue to work to close the school until he hears a professional decision stating otherwise.

Funny thing is that Saar, as Minister of Education, has the right to overrule and overturn decisions like this. So if he decides, for whatever reason, that he wants the school to stay open and in its location, he has that ability.

Mayor Abutbol's arguments in the letter were actually very clear and very strong (even if he presented the arguments in a slightly disrespectful manner), and he made good points. Abutbol said that professional teams from the Education Ministry have been working on this a long time and have come to professional decisions - you can't come and wave your hands and overturn all that work and all that reality without having a good, clear reason supported by re-analysis (it was more detailed than this, but this is the gist of it). Abutbol added that in light of the flippant method in which Saar overturned the previous decision, he will not take it seriously and will continue to work towards dismantling the school, as the professional team had concluded must be done. If Saar would contact him directly and explain otherwise and have it re-analyzed by a professional team rather than just using a political announcement, he will stop.

What I find ironic is that throughout the fight, as the parents and supporters of the school were tryign to fight the decision, and were meeting with Abutbol to present their side, Abutbol said many times that it was not his decision but was the decision of the MoE. Now that the MoE has changed their mind (for whatever reason), Abutbol is saying he will ignore that and fight to continue closing it. He previously pushed them off passing the blame on the MoE, but now his true face has come out. Based on what he said earlier, he should have been overjoyed that he could now tell the parents that the school will be staying as the MoE reversed their decision.


  1. So he says one thing to one group of voters and the exact opposite to a different group of voters. You thought he wouldn't make a good politician.

  2. Politics aside - Do we need this school when there are kids from within the neighborhood without the facilities? Surely RBS resources and buildings should go the RBS residents first? Surely the schools with a larger number of students should have priority before a school that seems to be losing kids and becoming smaller.

  3. I agree. But the argument against is also pretty good - they cant not have a public school in the area. if this is the only school catering to some kids, they canno get rid of it. it is some law but also makes sense.
    I dont see why they cant give them a smaller building though.

    also, the argument of priority is not great when a school is already in a building. every year they should reevaluate each school building and transfer it to a school that might now have more kids? priority would be good when you have a new building and are trying o decide which of the schools to give it to. but once a school is in it, I am not sure the priority argument holds much water.

    the real argument for taking away the building and reallocating it is simply better distribution of local resources.

    Again, if they want to keep the school open, fine. but find them a smaller building and give this one to a school that needs it more.

  4. Anon brought up a great general point in saying:
    "Surely RBS resources and buildings should go the RBS residents first?"

    We should take this attitude for all of the needs of RBSA and keep our business and tzedaka local as well.

    Perhaps if we would concentrate our tzedaka here the organziations would be able to do their jobs and help the local people in need.

  5. abutbul is just trying to keep the JB infulance from ruining the macome torah that is Beit Shemesh.
    The Heilegeche Doovid Hameelech lived here how can we continue to defile it with the JBLWMO apikursim.
    Get rib of the school and then get rib of the Zionst (Apikorsin) Rabbis walking around defiling the The Brisker ROV w/ by stealing his name.


  6. It is it possible to continue the excellent educational programs in the current school with children from RBS? There are so many Anglo Olim in RBS who come from excellent schools in USA and GB and France. They can certainly benefit from some of the programs currently provided.
    RBS schools are very overcrowded and need the classrooms that sit empty.
    Let's think less of politics and more about children and their education.


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