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Jan 28, 2015

Abutbol staying in Bet Shemesh

Yesterday Bet Shemesh was in a bit of a tizzy. Rumors were swirling, and it turns out that there was a possibility that Moshe Abutbol, mayor of Bet Shemesh, was being considered for a realistic spot on the Shas list for Knesset.

The opportunity supposedly came to Abutbol as a result of the arrangement in which Rav Reuven Elbaz was moved into a central spot in Shas, with him being added to the rabbinic council of Shas and his efforts to bring peace and quiet and unity among the ranks, and calm the Shas-voting public. Abutbol, being close to Rav Elbaz, was named as a possibility for the Knesset list.

If Abutbol would take the spot, on the one hand it would be an honor and great for Bet Shemesh to have a[nother] MK and possible minister, while on the other hand Abutbol leaving Bet Shemesh for the Knesset would throw Bet Shemesh into another, probably bitter and divisive, elections for mayor, third in 3 years.

The rumors and wonder were quelled relatively quickly. Last night Moshe Abutbol released a statement in which he said that he has decided to not leave Bet Shemesh for the Knesset. Abutbol explained that after receiving the trust of the residents of the city, twice in a short period of time, it would not be right to leave the city and send it into another election season, with the wounds from the previous ones still not yet healed.

Abutbol says that in the coming period he will help Shas in whatever way possible to succeed in the elections, but only from outside the ranks of the party list for Knesset.

That out an end to the question.

It seems like Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, is in a similar, but different, situation.

Recently Netanyahu approached Barkat with the possibility of appointing him Minister of Jerusalem Issues. The issue has remained open, and nothing will happen in that regards until after the upcoming elections, and then only if Netanyahu and the Likud win the elections.

However, Barkat has said he is open to the idea of being a minister for the benefit of Jerusalem, but only if it can be done in a way that would not require him to give up his position as mayor. Legal council has already said this is possible.
source: Mynet

I cannot imagine someone being able to juggle the position of minister and mayor of such a major city like Jerusalem at the same time. I am sure both positions would take up so much of his time and I cannot fathom one person being able to do both, even though there might be some overlap in the issues of the jobs.

Same situation with Abutbol. I cannot imagine how he'd be able to manage the city and work in the Knesset at the same time, though I doubt it has the legal issues as Barkat's situation - meaning, he probably would not be allowed to keep the mayorship while serving in knesset.

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