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Jun 22, 2014

Gafni explains why he pressured Mozes to pull his bill

About a month ago, MK Mozes (UTJ proposed a law by which a mayoral candidate would have to have lived in the city in which he wants to run for election for 6 months prior to the election. His own entire party opposed his law, because they would be most hurt by it, as UTJ tends to send their askanim from city to city and make decisions at the last moment as who should be the candidate, along with the complexity of the agreements between the different factions making up UTJ. Mozes seemed to be obstinate on that law, and ignored the complaints of his party.

Well, Mishpacha newspaper has more information about that - it turns out his buddies in UTJ pressured him relentlessly until he gave in and withdrew his proposal. That was almost to be expected.. What is especially interesting is why they opposed this proposal so strongly.

MK Gafni, speaking to Mishpacha, explained, UTJ works differently than other parties. Other parties plan in advance, while UTJ makes their decisions at the last possible moment. It seems that the complexity of the agreements between the various factions also causes a problem. Specifically, if one faction, such as Viznitz for example, has its turn at the helm in a specific city, say Bnei Braq, but the most competent person available in Viznitz lives let's say in Jerusalem. Gafni said openly - it is no secret that we, the Haredi community, are not blessed with public representatives with the most talent - in the UTJ community, the best and most talented stay in learning and become rosh yeshivas, rosh kollels, rebbes, etc. Those who turn to public office are those who were less successful in the things that are really important to the Haredi community. Compare that to the secular community that sends it best to public office (though he says that despite that we are still much better than them, but shouldn't be limited by such technicalities).So, should the people of Bnei Braq have to suffer with a less competent mayor just because the more competent one didn't change his address in time?

Gafi added that if Mozes would propose to change the system to one of primaries to select the most talented and competent candidate and not which faction he is connected to, he would support it. However, as long as everything is based on sectorialism, making this change will just hurt everyone.

Personally, I would say that maybe they should get their act together, plan in advance and stop doing everything based on sectoral considerations and actually find the best person within UTJ to represent. And yes, that person can be located with enough time to change his address, and not walk in at the last moment.

Perhaps it is time for someone from a different party to propose this bill...

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  1. According to Gafni, someone may be unable to change his address in time to meet a filing deadline and still be considered the most competent person to run a city.

  2. If anyone else proposes this law it would be Charedi bashing.

  3. it is a ridiculous s'vara! just because someone is super talented in gemara or even in running a yeshiva, that doesn't mean that he would be the right person to be mayor! therefore the whole idea is ridiculous!

    look at the mayors in various towns. who amongst them are great businessmen, scientists, or whatever? they're guys who know how to make deals and get elected, how to play the system, how to administer.

  4. As a non-haredi resident of Beit Shemesh, this law does not really matter to me. ALL haredi mayors will do their best to transfer money from the non-haredi sector to the haredi sector by maximizing discounts (80% ?? now 90% when do we get 95% -- or 99%?) for haredi residents, and MINIMIZING investment in non-haredi institutions to "NOT ONE PENNY" more than the legal minimum. So if the haredim want to fight over WHICH haredi factions gets the biggest piece of the action, it does not really matter to me. At this point, they are all the same no matter where they live.


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