Jan 16, 2012

Letter To AMI About Abutbol Interview

The following guest post is regarding the interview of Mayor Moshe Abutbol in a recent AMI magazine. As a result of things said in the interview, Rabbi Dov Lipman is considering suing Abutbol for libel.

A Guest Post by Etana Hecht

Here's my letter to the editor of Ami Magazine. They told me they'd print it this week, and just emailed me that they're not printing any letters about Bet Shemesh this week. They asked how they can print a retraction when it's Abutbol who said it...

To Whom it may Concern,


As a Bet Shemesh resident, I'd like to address numerous factual errors in your column entitled "Q & A with Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbol" Issue 52.


1- Abutbol stated the following: "If it would have been designated as a boys' school, the charedim would have been able to accept it and restrain their opposition. The entire outcry began the moment it was designated for girls." He then continues on to say that if the two buildings would simply switch places, the entire issue would be solved.
This is false. When the boys' school opened 3 years ago, there were protests and vandalism to the building as well. The reason they were able to keep it going this year, was so that they could hide their real agenda under the cries of 'tznius'. In addition, they harass the the girls as they leave and walk up the block to the buses or their house, which is the exact same route that they would take if the buildings were switched, as they're right next door to each other.


2- Sam Sokol asked why we haven't seen any protests from the Chareidi part of Bet Shemesh against the extremists, to which Abutbol answered as follows: "As I said before, the Chareidim do not want to be seen as supporting the construction of a girls school in the middle of the Chareidi neighborhood". I have two issues with this statement. Number one, all we were looking for was a condemnation of violence from as many frum leaders as possible, in order to alienate and malign the extremists. No politics necessary in said condemnation. Number two- the school in question is NOT "in the middle of the chareidi neighborhood". It is on the border of three Dati Leumi neighborhoods that have been around for decades, and a few RBS B buildings which sprung up 5 years ago. In no way can it be described as it was, "in the middle of a chareidi neighborhood".


3- Abutbol mentioned Dov Lipman numerous times. As a resident for the same amount of time that Rabbi Lipman has been here, I can attest to the fact that there is NO ONE in this city who has given of himself in the form of time and energy the way he has. There was much negativity towards him in the article, but I'd like to address one specific sentence which will capture what needs to be said about the rest of the comments aimed toward Rabbi Lipman. Abutbol stated "For three years Lipman fought against every building that went up to house chareidim. He fought the growth of chareidim day and night". Nothing could be further from the truth. It is easily refutable, as in every single interview Rabbi Lipman has given, as well as in every talk I've personally had with him on the subject, he CLEARLY states that his goal is equal affordable housing for ALL populations. He's been working tirelessly to mitigate the damage of the extremists, and Abutbol should be grateful to Rabbi Lipman for doing what Abutbol should have been doing all along, instead of calling him a "thorn in the side of Bet Shemesh".


Etana Hecht
Bet Shemesh

1 comment:

  1. Beit Shemesh has been going downhill since Rav Katz was niftar. When the crazies from Meah Sharim were allowed to buy apartments and when you voted a quasi religious frank to be mayor. Next time you see a guy who spits or yells, just punch him in his mouth as the Haggada says, Hake Es Sheinav!

    ReplyDelete

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