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Aug 29, 2013

Haredim to protest Abutbol's campaign launch

Yesterday Mayor of Bet Shemesh Moshe Abutbol announced that on Sunday he will be launching his reelection campaign. He will kick it off with a press conference and a "party", of sorts, at a hall in bet Shemesh - Ulamei Ron Tal.

Abubtol sent out invitations to members of the press to participate, and his campaign will focus on the them of  "מתקדמים מפיתוח לטיפוח" - progressing from development to care, with a focus on beautifying the city and dealing with the cleanliness (I heard him say on the radio a few times that this will be his focus in the coming years)

In response to Abutbol's announcement, a group of Haredim have publicized a call for Haredim to come to the event, but to stay outside and protest against Abutbol at the entrance to the hall.

As soon as Abutbol announced his coming press conference, messages were already being passed around via SMS and Whatsapp announcing that there will be a protest by Haredim outside the Ron Tal hall at the same time. Before the article appeared on Kikar, I had already received the announcement from 2 separate people.

The protest is being organized under the banner of "do you also think Abutbol is bad for the Haredim? I'd be happy if you joined our protest at the entrance to the hall at the time of the press conference."

I am a bit surprised it is not being organized under any specific banner or party or organization or group, and that they did not even give themselves a group name, such as "Me'uchzavei Abutbol" (those disappointed in Abutbol) or "Haredim against Abutbol" or something similar. I cannot imagine it will be easy to bring people to a protest that does not have an organized group behind it. We also have no idea if this is a group of 5 people or 500 people (not necessarily how many will show up to protest - most people are not available in the middle of the day for protesting, but how many people support Haredim publicly opposing Abutbol)

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