MAJOR UPSET: Bloch Defeats Chareidi Mayor Abutbul in Beit Shemesh

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It is final: Beit Shemesh Mayor Rabbi Moshe Abutbul, who served two terms, has been defeated by Bayit Yehudi candidate Dr. Aliza Bloch. Bloch won the race by 533 votes, and becomes the city’s first female mayor.

Most of the chareidi tzibur felt the reports that Bloch might emerge the victor was nothing more than hype, (or ‘fake news’ as it is commonly referred to today,) but it appears the reports were quite accurate.

The final 1030 votes of the soldiers were tabulated as were the 300 votes of the disabled residents. Bloch succeeded in closing the gap of 251 votes to catch up to Abutbul and then pushed ahead to take the race.

[ISRAEL ELECTIONS: Jerusalem Mayoral Race Heading to Runoff, Results From Around The Country]

The time since the closing of polls in Beit Shemesh Tuesday night were tense ones for both candidates, as the initial tabulation of votes showed they were not far apart.

The victory is a major one for the dati leumi Bayit Yehudi party, as well as for Likud. It is a significant blow to the Chareidim in the city, who once again were not united, as Shas and Degel Yisrael backed Abutbul, but Agudas Yisrael would not join the ticket because Shas and Degel refused to back the Agudah candidate in the Jerusalem race. In that race, the Agudas Yisrael candidate, Yossi Deutsch, lost.

Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul

Folllowing the announcement of her victory, Bloch said:

“The people of Israel look at the city of Beit Shemesh and wake up to a new hope. Beit Shemesh decided to cancel the walls and partitions,” she said, adding, “Today we have proven to ourselves and to Israeli society that we respect each other and do not create gaps. This is what we have davened for all these years, and the people of Israel are waiting for such a thing.”

“As mayor of Beit Shemesh, I intend to engage in finding the good and the common, and together we will become a model for Israeli society, each of whom will live his life in his own way with respect for the other,” Bloch declared.

“Many chareidim voted for me, I know what the situation is at the polling stations, and there is no doubt that thousands of chareidim said, ‘We want to live in a healthy society,'” concluded Bloch, who turned out to be victorious in the race.

The dati leumi and secular community have been working hard to oust the Shas-affiliated mayor. In the last election, the results were challenged and a second election was ordered by the court after too much foul play was documented. However, Abutbul won again. This time, the opponent learned from past mistakes and rallied to a victory, with the help of many chareidim who voted for her as well.

Bayit Yehudi chairman MK Naftali Bennett congratulated Bloch on her victory.

“I congratulated Aliza Bloch on her historic win in Beit Shemesh. This was a critical campaign for the future of the city. The residents of Beit Shemesh chose hope, unity and future. We agreed to meet next week to build a plan to boost education in the city. Something new is starting in Beit Shemesh,” Bennett tweeted.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Media Resource Group)


21 COMMENTS

  1. Who does the reporting here? Almost everything in this article is inaccurate. Firstly Aliza Bloch ran on her own ticket not as the representative of Bayit Yehudi. Secondly it is not an upset for chareidim as thousands of chareidim voted for her. Maybe for the chareidi political parties, but even they got a huge majority in the city council so not sure how that is a major upset. Thirdly, it was not such a surprise that she would put up a strong challenge to the incumbent: why else were there “emergency kennesim” almost every night for he past two weeks in Beit Shemesh? Finally, Agudas Yisroel did support Abutbul along with degel and shas so the major chareidi parties were united (and still their candidate lost). Please check your facts before publishing a news article.

  2. Why are you describing her as someone bad? Also in Haifa a non chareidi woman won & everyone was happy about it. Bloch wants to pick up Beit Shemesh & has the means to go about it, why not give her a chance and if the people are not happy next term they can elect someone else?

  3. YWN news has truly reached new lows in sloppy reporting and the desire to create machlokes.
    What on earth are you talking about with your nonsense about Agudah not backing Abutbol because of Yerushalayim politics? Agudah and Degel actually not only both supported Abutbol, but they ran a united “Gimmel” ticket for city council (which according to the latest numbers received either 7 or 8 out of 21 seats on city council). In an wonderful display of Achdus among the Chareidim, Abutbol was endorsed by all 4 Chareidi parties: Shas, Degel, Agudah and even Etz. And yet you report the exact opposite, saying ” chareidim in the city, who once again were not united”.

    And your analysis that this was a major victory for Bayit Yehudi and Likud is kind of strange as well, considering the Chareidim still have a majority in city council (7/8 for Gimmel, 4 for Shas, and 1 for Etz), and Bloch didn’t run as part of Bayit Yehudi or Likud, but on her own ticket.

    Finally, in your reference to the last elections, you say “too much foul play was documented” which is also completely inaccurate. There were accusations of foul play, pretty much none of which was documented or even criminally tried, and the corrupt courts in Israel used that as an excuse to try to give Eli Cohen a second chance at winning. Even many of the secular Israeli journalist throughout the country at the time expressed shock and indignation at the courts blatant attempts to interfere with the democratic process — and yet you just casually write that there was documented foul play. Words matter — please, YWN, report responsibly.

    (And of course YWN has not mentioned that in this election an entire Chareidi voter station was not counted because of claims of “voter irregularity”. . .I would love to know why you have such an anti-Chareidi agenda in Beit Shemesh)

  4. Wonderful result for Beit Shemesh, the State of Israel and Am Yisrael. Now Beit Shemesh can start to move out of the dark ages. As the Mayor said, “take down the wall and mechitzos”. The sooner the better.

  5. Wow, there’s no way she could have won without many, many in the chareidi community voting for her. That’s pretty amazing given the push to vote for Abutbul by the rabbonim.

  6. I am not upset.
    We, a good number of chareidi residents in this city, are fed up with the chilul Hashem that comes with being told by “spiritual leaders” that we are chayiv to vote for a tribal politician who has run this city into the ground with his mismanagement.
    Chareidim have made it clear: Being mayor is a public service, not a joke.

  7. Mazal Tov! Wishing much success to the new Mayor in improving the city to the benefit of ALL residents – whether they voted for her or not.

    an Israeli Yid

  8. Many Charedim or charedi inclined
    especially those of Western
    voted for her or chose not to vote for mayor altogether
    Abutbul was a very well meaning and sincere person but wasn’t as mayor competent

    Last election they felt that it was a national atmosphere ,as indeed it was,
    therefore they had to go vote for him
    this time around it wasn’t as necessary however

  9. I saw a cute sign today, showing how the Army absentee count made the final difference in the vote. I’ll translate it into English for the Yidden in the US:
    “Bet Shemesh, today, became the first city to be liberated by the IDF since 1967”.
    Good luck Mayor Bloch!!

  10. As many have said, Aliza enjoyed the support of many chareidim. The previous administration had a few bad eggs that unfortunately caused very real chillul Hashem. I wouldn’t have believed the corruption if I didn’t see it myself.

    Now is a key time for the new candidate to show that she truly means what she says, that she wants to drive unity and serve all of BS/RBS A, B, G and more.

  11. wow

    While based on some comments the crows and vultures already are Gathering

    hopefully this vote will mean little more than that haredi parties have to put up someone who besides being religious & pushing the country in the right goals
    also when it comes to bread and butter Is competent and capable

  12. Abutbul was an absolute disaster as mayor as documented here on YWN over the years and most media, including some of the Chareidi media. Dr. Bloch is no radical or feminist but she will eliminate the rampant corruption and the efforts of Chareidi zealots to impose their insane agenda on the tzibur in terms of “separation” etc. If the incumbent hacks on the City Council get in her way, she will run right over them. Perhaps is time for the old line political leadership of BS learn to take orders from a woman.

  13. The City Council can make and amend laws; the Mayor cannot. The City Council is legally far more powerful than the Mayor. They can run her over like a little bump in the road.

  14. It seems to me it is about different flavors of frum Jews running against each other, which is really a very good thing. The day the race for Prime Minister is between the “Hareidim” and the “Religious Zionists”, Eliahu will be there to moderate the pre-election debates.