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Sep 9, 2008

Aryeh Deri's candidacy will have far reaching implications

and now for some more local election analysis and intrigue....

The latest declaration by Aryeh Deri to run for mayor of Jerusalem throws a big wrench into our local Bet Shemesh politics and electioneering.

Moshe Abutbol, the candidate from Shas for mayor of Bet Shemesh, has been putting together a block of supporters from various parties, that he calls the "Gush Chevrati" (social block). Some of those hwo initially joined have already withdrawn their support, and Abutbol has been trying to obtain, and is hoping to receive, the support and backing from Degel and Aguda. They have yet to support him, and are saying they are considering their options that include running their own candidate/s or supporting a different candidate.

MK Litzman from Aguda has already floated the balloon of bringing in an outside candidate from Emmanuel. Mostly it seems he is using that as a negotiating ploy to get more out of the current candidates. Degel still remains silent.

However, with Deri running and creating a ruckus and a big problem for the current Haredi candidate, Meier Porush, this will have ramifications in many cities, Bet Shemesh included. If Porush has to contend with Deri, there is no way Aguda will ever come out in support of a Shas candidate in Bet Shemesh or anywhere else. So Abutbol will have lost at least Aguda.

Degel is another story. Degel in Jerusalem seems to be leaning to backing Deri over Porush, and that might also push them to support Abutbol in Bet Shemesh. Though since Porush has almost no stakes or influence in Bet Shemesh (his representation here is very small), Degel will likely not support Abutbol in Bet Shemesh because they have supported Deri in Jerusalem and need to make amends with Aguda, and will do so by not supporting Abutbol, but working with Aguda to support someone else or field their own candidate in Bet Shemesh.

Without Degel-Aguda support, Abutbol's candidacy could be in big trouble.


  1. Has Aryeh Deri no shame?? I am completely horrified that this convicted criminal (who served 22 months in prison for accepting bribes when he was interior minister) has the chutzpah to stand for mayor of the holiest place on the planet.
    How can the haredi parties support him? Have they no principles?!
    This is a new low in the stinking slime that is Israeli politics.

  2. not to say anything about the infighting (I am considering a post on it), but about his candidacy - what is wrong with it? he served his time, now if legally he is allowed to run , let him see if the voters want him as a mayor...

    the thing is he has a limitation because of the moral turpitude issue. Perhaps Peres will release that by giving him a "chanina" or a pardon, but it remains to be seen whether he will or will not...

  3. If Deri runs the Hareidi vote will be split and this means that the next mayor of Jerusalem will be Nir Barkat.

  4. that is probably true, but if it happens, someone will drop out to prevent that.

    Personally I like Porush. He has done a lot and shown himself to be even-handed and helpful to everybody. But I am not convinced Barkat would not also be good. Just because he is a secular candidate does not mean he will not do a good job running the city. I do not think the city of Jerusalem comes out poorly no matter who wins. In this race there are only good candidates...


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