Israeli Municipal Election News Roundup 10/10/18

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Tensions Surround The Beit Shemesh Elections As Abutbul Official Kicks Off His Campaign

Tensions continue to surround the upcoming municipal elections in Beit Shemesh. The official launching of Mayor Moshe Abutbul’s reelection campaign was launched on Monday night in the presence of Shas party chairman Minister Aryeh Deri, as well as representatives of Agudas Yisrael, including Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman and MK Menachem Eliezer Moses.

Deputy Minister Meir Porush, who is also from Agudas Yisrael was not present, as he is still undecided as to how his Shlomei Emunim faction will vote, as to date, he has not signaled agreement to back the sole chareidi candidate in the race, Shas’ Moshe Abutbul. In fact, Porush has threatened to back Peleg Yerushalmi in retribution for Shas and Degel Hatorah not backing his son, Yisrael Porush, who is seeking reelection in the Elad mayoral race.

According to the polls, the race to date is neck and neck between Abutbul and his dati leumi challenger, Dr. Aliza Bloch, and if Shlomei Emunim does not back Abutbul, it may cost the chareidi mayor the elections.

Election Committee Dismisses Petition From Elkin Against Leon

Jerusalem mayoral candidate Ze’ev Elkin on Wednesday morning petitioned the Election committee against opponent Moshe Leon, demanding that Leon’s campaign be halted immediately, asking to order forbidding Leon’s people from continuing to publish insults and defamatory remarks anonymously.

The campaign in question claims that Elkin is a traitor and Elkin will betray Jerusalem when it is clear that Leon is the advertising agent. In addition, Elkin’s headquarters asked for a public apology from Leon along with the Kippa website.

However, Judge Ornan Darel rejected the petition outright and wrote that the violation in question is far from being “gross, violent and absolutely forbidden,” as claimed by Elkin’s staff.

“The dismissal of the petition outright proves that behind Elkin’s claims there was nothing but a desperate attempt to win publicity,” Leon’s campaign officials told Ynet.

Interior Ministry To Issue Temporary ID Cards Ahead Of Municipal Elections

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has decided the ministry will issue a temporary identity card even if one does not have a passport and/or drivers license.

Deri has instructed ministry clerks to accommodate requests for a first identity card from a 17-year-old, or a request for a replacement for a lost or stolen ID card, even if the person cannot present a valid photo license or passport. This is to accommodate requests ahead of municipal elections nationwide, scheduled to be held on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

To date, one requesting a first or replacement ID card would have to provide another form of identification to have a the new card issued. This has led to many missing elections, leading to Deri’s decision, which is only until the end of October, to accommodate elections, nothing more. The new temporary card will expire on Election Day.

Shas Officially Backing Degel Candidate Pindrus In Municipal Elections

Chacham HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Cohen Shlita, head of the Moetzas Gedolei Torah of Shas, has announced Shas will be backing Degel Hatorah candidate Yitzchak Pindrus in the Elad elections. This is another example of cooperation between Shas and Degel Hatorah in the upcoming municipal elections, as is the case in Beit Shemesh, where Degel is backing the Shas candidate, Moshe Abutbul.

On Wednesday morning, 2 Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan, Rav Cohen announced the party’s backing of the Degel candidate, who will be competing against the incumbent, Yisrael Porush of the Shlomei Emunim faction of Agudas Yisrael, as the latter failed to reach agreement with Degel Hatorah in either Beit Shemesh or Elad. Shas party chairman Minister Aryeh Deri arrived at Rav Cohen’s house on Wednesday morning accompanied by the number one man on the Shas list in Elad, Tzuriel Krisfel, at which time Rav Cohen made his announcement.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)