(VIDEOS AND PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
Following are updates from the various parties and candidates as they pertain to the chareidi tzibur vis-à-vis the upcoming municipal elections throughout Israel, which are scheduled for Tuesday, 21 Marcheshvan.
Report: Leon Cut Major Deal; The Draft Law in Exchange for Yerushalayim
According to Yediot Achronot’s Thursday banner headline story, based on recordings obtained by the newspaper, a deal was made between Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Leon and Shas and Degel Hatorah, which ostensibly admits that there is indeed a deal between Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the chareidi parties; the new draft law in exchange for Yerushalayim. This was the result of a meeting that included Moshe Gafne and Yaakov Litzman.
The newspaper reports that the conversation basically more than hints at the fact that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will accept a modified version of the new draft law, one that is more palatable to the chareidi parties, in exchange for Degel Hatorah’s and Shas’ support of Moshe Leon in the Jerusalem mayoral race.
In short, a modified draft law in exchange for Jerusalem, supporting a mayoral candidate whose voting record has been less than sympathetic to the needs of the chareidi tzibur.
Moshe Leon’s response: “I do not know the incident or the quoted conversation, but knowing the facts, I am convinced that these are things that were taken out of context. I am proud of the support of Shas and Degel Hatorah and intend to win the first round so that I can take care of Jerusalem and its residents. ”
Defense Minister Lieberman’s response: “The draft law formulated by the defense establishment is the best state law, which received both the chief of staff’s approval and the support of MK Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid, and the absolute majority of the political system. The alleged claims that a deal was made are totally unfounded and even if this was uttered, it is merely a campaign statement, not at all connected to Minister Lieberman or with reality and facts”.
Tel Aviv Mayor Huldai Praises Efforts to Establish 24 Routes on Shabbos
In response to media report that tenders were issued for 24 transportation lines to operate on Tel Aviv by taxis on Shabbos, Mayor Ron Huldai, who seeks reelection said, “This is a true revolution. Congratulations to the minister of transportation, that finally, after years, have authorized the plan for a significant expansion of the service lines, which are based on the municipalities plan from 2012. This is a major change and a significant contribution to permit moving about via public transport on all the days of the week, including Shabbos and Yomim Tovim.
“I am certain that public transportation throughout the week is an existential necessity, especially for the weaker populations, and will improve accessibility within and between Tel Aviv-Yaffo and onward. The State of Israel must provide service including to those who don’t have [the means]. This includes accessibility to for every citizen, including on weekends. There is no reason why residents who cannot afford to reach the beach or visit the ill on Shabbos”.
National Health Union Backs Deutsch in Jerusalem Mayoral Race
Another major boost for Yossi Deutsch’s mayoral campaign as the national union of the Health Ministry has announced it endorses him for mayor of Yerushalayim. Committee Chairman Nissim Levi praises Deutsch, citing he is a true Yerushalmi, born and bred in the city, one who if familiar with all neighborhoods, a person who has always exhibited an attentive ear to the issues facing residents of all walks of life in the capital.
Berkowitz Explains Elkin’s Campaign has Been Nothing but Lies
During a panel discussion of the Jerusalem mayoral candidates, Ofer Berkowitz lashed into opponent Ze’ev Elkin, citing a Ynet report addressing “Elkin’s negative campaign” via SMS text messages to residents.
“Ze’ev, I want to ask you something. Two weeks ago, you sat in Machon Lev, and you attacked Moshe Leon’s campaign. Today, I learn that you sent hundreds of thousands of untrue SMS messages and the Gal Oren publicity company is behind your campaign. Aren’t you ashamed that you attack, that you spread lies, SMS messages and then you speak to use about the culture of proper speech? Gal Oren admits it is your campaign. Apologize before everyone! You should be ashamed,” stated Berkowitz to Elkin.
After Berkowitz’s Attack against Elkin, Deutsch Decides to Leave Forum
After Berkowitz’s attack above, along with other harsh exchanges between some of the candidates, Yossi Deutsch grabbed the mic and explained he was told the forum was to permit the candidates to air their platforms and exchange information. He then stated the conduct of the candidates and the dialogue was not what he was told would be the case and as such, he cannot continue.
He got up and left the event, unwilling to be a part of the verbal attacks and counter-attacks.
Letter from Rav Nebenzahl Backing Moshe Leon
The letter below is from the Rav of Jerusalem’s Old City, HaGaon HaRav Avigdor Nebenzahl Shlita, which states, after he learned of the position of Gedolei Yisrael Shlita, that one must vote for Moshe Leon in the Jerusalem mayoral race, and the Degel Hatorah ticket for city council, one may not veer and one must adhere to the instructions of Gedolei Torah.
Chabad & Breslov Back Shas in Bnei Brak Race
In a surprising announcement in Bnei Brak Municipal elections, Councilman (Shas) Gedalyah Ben-Shimon, who is a candidate for Deputy Mayor of Bnei Brak, seems to have brought in additional support. The Chabad community of Pardes Katz has announced it will be backing the Shas list in the race, citing all the assistance the tzibur has received in recent years from Ben-Shimon. This is a community of hundreds of families, hence a significant number of votes. This is obviously a blow to Agudas Yisrael.
The same is true of the Breslov kehilla, which has announced it is backing Ben-Shimon and the Shas list. A meeting was held between Shas chairman Minister Aryeh Deri and HaRav HaGaon Uziyahu Alkuret, and Deputy Mayor Eliyahu Dadon, the rav signed a kol korei to his talmidim to back Shas. To date, the rav and his talmidim backed Gimmel, Agudas Yisrael, not shifting to Shas.
Bnei Torah (Peleg Yerushalmi) Poster in Betar Illit Elections
PM Netanyahu Accompanies Likud Candidate Elkin
PM Netanyahu accompanied candidate Ze’ev Elkin on Wednesday afternoon for a visit to Machane Yehuda, days ahead of municipal elections.
Former Betar Jerusalem Soccer Star Backs Deutsch
Former Betar Jerusalem soccer star Eitan Mizrachi joins the list of unexpected supporters of Yossi Deutsch. Deutsch admits he has no clue regarding soccer but does know how to work for the other guy, as soccer plays must also be a team.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: קבוצת רוטרניק)