Oct 7, 2018

The Bet Shemesh - Elad electoral connection

Much ado has been made regarding the fighting, in cities all around Israel, between the various factions of UTJ - in some cities it is Shlomei Emunim vs Degel Hatorah, in other cities it is Degel Hatorah vs Agudat Yisrael, and in some cities it is all 3 against each other. And in some cities Shas is involved as well.

Somehow Elad has turned into one of the most contentious races this time around. With elections happening in municipalities all over the county, and UTJ factions fielding candidates in many of the cities and towns holding elections it seems a bit surprising, to me, that Elad is considered so important that the most bitter of the fighting is happening there.

Mishpacha magazine (Hebrew edition) had an interesting side by side article/interview with Degel chairman Moshe Gafni and Shlomei Emunim chairman Meir Porush. If the topic interests you and you have access to the magazine, I encourage you to read it. I am only going to comment on one small part of it - the end.

The interviewer asked each about the Elad situation.

Porush explained that in 2013 Degel and Shlomei Emunim came to a deal that in Bet Shemesh they would all support Abutbol for mayor while in Elad Yisrael Porush (from Shlomei Emunim, Meir Porush's son) would be the candidate for mayor (he won) and would be supported by Degel. The deal added that in the upcoming elections in 2018, Degel would run its own candidate in Bet Shemesh, to be supported by Shlomei Emunim, and Shlomei Emunim would be granted the various municipal appointments held by Degel since 2013. And 2018 in Elad Shlomei Emunim would support the Degel candidate for mayor.

Porush says that because Degel chose not to run a candidate for mayor in Bet Shemesh in 2018 they have broken the agreement, as now Shlomei Emunim will not get those various other appointments as per the agreement. Therefore, Porush says, if Degel broke the agreement, we do not need to keep it in Elad either and the current mayor will run for re-election instead of resigning and backing the Degel candidate.

Gafni explained the situation a little differently. Gafni said that Elad was a very straightforward deal - in 2013 Shlomei Emunim puts forward the candidate for mayor, to be supported by Degel, and in 2018 Degel puts forward the candidate for mayor, to be supported by Shlomei Emunim.

Gafni says we supported Porush for mayor in 2013, and now Shlomei has to support our candidate for mayor in 2018.

Gafni made no mention of any connection to Bet Shemesh in the deal, and the interviewer did not ask about any such connection. Without asking for a response to the claim of the existence of such a connection, the Mishpacha interviewer did a disservice to its readers. There was some sort of deal in place, but now we do not know if it was just Elad or if it was a package deal of Elad and Bet Shemesh. Some people will believe Porush at face value and some will believe Gafni at face value, and we now have no idea who broke the deal because we do not know what the deal actually was.

I would add that in light of the developments last week by which Moshe Abutbol made some sort of clerical "error" (or some say it was a clever maneuver) when trying to form a new party and getting it disqualified at the last moment and then getting UTJ to put him atop their list, turning Moshe Abutbol into, officially, the mayoral candidate from UTJ, at the end of the day, the agreement as described by Porush has, so far been fulfilled. If Abutbol should win, Porush should demand the various appointments as per the original agreement - and he should even demand them now in order to officially support Abutbol. And in exchange for a commitment to keeping the deal and giving Shlomei Emunim all those appointments, Porush should honor the part of the deal affected Elad.

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1 comment:

  1. And the residents of all these cities can go to h***. There are deals to be made.

    Same for Jerusalem, of course.


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