Oct 13, 2013

Bet Shemesh Elections: How can they support this?

I have no problem knowing that there are plenty of people who want to vote for Moshe Abutbol for a variety of reasons. Some think he did a great job in the past term. Some think he will do a great job. Some like the way he looks. Some like the way he dresses. Some like his endorsements. Some because of this or that rabbi that says to vote for him. Heck, in America people vote based on the endorsement of actors and athletes, so trusting a rabbi or mentor based on his endorsement is perfectly fine by me.

What I don't understand is how people, very intelligent people, can see what has been happening the past week or two and support that. They see the intimidation, the see the threats, the thuggery, the lies, the cynical lies and even ridiculous campaign promises with no explanation of where the theoretical money will come from, the tearing down of signs from private property (forget public property - private property!), the hatred and name calling being invoked (go down on Friday to the Merkaz Mischari in RBS A or to the junction between neighborhoods at the edge of RBS B and you won't see thoughtful discussion, debate and argument - you will see hatred and violence, both verbal and physical). And they continue to support that. Why are these tactics supportable? Why are the people behind them supportable? Why are people who come from democratic countries with backgrounds full of accomplishment and education backing someone who uses these tactics to get ahead, to no personal gain of their own?

You want to talk chilul shabbos? While Moshe Abutbol is busy consistently accusing Eli Cohen of planning to bring mass chilul shabbos to Bet Shemesh, despite Eli Cohen's denials and promises, Moshe Abutbol's frum supporters are busy tearing down Cohen's signs (among others, like TOV signs as well) on Shabbos!

A rabbi spoke in his shul this shabbos saying he himself witnessed frum people tearing down Cohen's signs on Shabbos! Adults, not kids. He approached the people tearing down the signs and said to them that it is Shabbos and that is not allowed, besides for the other problems of tearing down someone else's signs. Their response was that it is a milchemet mitzva and therefore it is a mitzva to tear down his signs, even on Shabbos.

They justify chilul shabbos! That is how corrupt the campaign has gotten! They accuse Eli Cohen of planning to introduce chilul shabbos to the city, at the same time they are desecrating the shabbos on their own and justifying it as a mitzva!

Some people don't know. They aren't interested in politics, they go about their lives and will just vote based on what the rabbonim say, what they hear, or the little they know. I have no questions about them. I wish I was so tomim, I wish getting gan eden would be so easy, I wish them the best of luck and happiness. They have no idea about any of this, so no problem. But those who do know?

The one consolation is that the ballot box is private and secret, and while publicly maybe they feel they must endorse despite the horrible tactics used, in private nobody knows who they actually vote for and they can there say no to intimidation.





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11 comments:

  1. This Friday I was won over to the Eli Cohen campaign. Why? Because a friend of mine told me about a picture she saw in Chadash, with a blanked-out "Not Charedi" qualification under a "vote Eli" billboard sign. I told her Chadash is pretty one-sided and we owe it to at least ask Eli's people what it was about.

    It wasn't a billboard. It was a private sign some guy made on the side of his truck. But did Eli say "I can't control everything people are doing out there, it's a big campaign you know" - no. He got that private guy to cover up the offensive part of his private sign. And - so fast that the best photo Chadash could get, was after it was covered up.

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    1. we didnt even get the chadash this week, but I saw from others that they ran an ad for Moshe Abutbol depicting what life will be like under Eli Cohen as mayor and it showed haredi kids behind barbed wire.
      Really? Holocaust imagery?
      What's next - Eli Cohen is in cahoots with a nearby monastery and plans to mass convert the entire Bet Shemesh to Christianity?

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    2. I'm beyond saddened by the victim-posturing that the Charedi politics have come to. When the State was founded, they asked Ben Gurion to make an exception for them and the State did so. Nowadays they make deals in the Knesset to benefit their sole interest of State funding for Torah study, yet when others make different deals - they call it persecution.

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  2. I wonder why the excuses that are offered for the evasion of army service by haredi yeshiva students don't seem to be considered valid exemptions for these political wars. I also wonder what all this says about the emunah of the participants. I can understand the hishtadlus of voting, but it seems to me that activities such as those described in this post go beyond what could be considered valid hishtadlus.

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  3. Rafi; You might try asking the 4 Doctors who support [Monday Night] Abutbul how their Kupat Cholim affiliations got on those campaign posters... I hear that they're really ticked. Seems that it appears that NONE of the 4 Docs authorized use of their affiliations on the posters, that the listing of the affiliations IN NO WAY shouls imply support for Abutbul on the part of the Kupat Cholim. I hope that the listing of their affiliations with the respective Kupat Cholim don't put these Doctors' jobs at risk.

    How and why is it that kids of parents unlikely to vote for Abutbul, have Abutbul campaign signs hanging from their mirpessets??? Something about "kids who display Abutbul campaign signs on their parents' mirpessets get to enter a raffle for a prize (prizes)"??? Sneaky tricks reaching lower and lower levels??? Is this how a REAL Chareidi is supposed to act -- The ends justify the means???

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  4. I get the impression that many who can't bring themselves to vote for someone non-Charedi, are voting with their feet by staying home.

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  5. Although I am appalled by the imagery, and by the signs being pulled down on Shabbos, I do not see what connection Abutbol has to the chillul Shabbos mentioned above. Do you think he is the one who invented the "milchemes mitzva" excuse? Get real! In a way I would love to see Eli Cohen win just to prove to all of you putting your trust in him that it ain't so simple to deal with real cuckoos like the ones we have in Bet. Let's see him get Rasido Center open!

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  6. I am not Charedi. I am anglo and I am very happy with Abutbol. He has done a very good job and I want to give him another term. However, we dont tell any of my neighbors though because they will ostracize us. I am upset (actually disturbed) that my fellow anglos are so full of hatred for Abutbol that I have to "hide" the fact we are voting for him. There is a real double standard - if Abutbol supporters tear down Cohen signs "its OK" but when Cohen supporters tear down Abutbol signs - "oh he is terrible." To many anglos they are just full of subjective venom against Abutbol - it is sickening.

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    1. I have no problem with people who think Abutbol is great and want to vote for him. I have written that here more than once. you shouldnt need to hide, just like Cohen supporters shouldnt need to

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    2. Thank you for understanding and you are right we should not have to hide. But the reality is if we tell people we will not have many friends in the community as everyone we are friends with have made it quite clear from how they discuss the elections that if we told them we are voting Abutbol we would no longer be welcome in their homes and probably would terminate their friendships. For them, dissent is not tolerated. So hiding is the better way for us personally if we want to stay in the community.

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    3. people shouldnt be like that. Nobody should be targeted just because they vote differently. I have plenty of friends who will be voting Abutbol, and I have plenty of friends who will be voting Eli Cohen. There is no way I would choose my friendships based on political leanings, and I dont respect anyone more or less based on who they vote for. People think differently from each other, and people have different concerns. That is nothing to be vilified for.

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