Tiveria Mayor Ron Kobi on Tuesday evening, together with his official entourage, visited the city’s boardwalk, which at the time was full of chareidim visiting during bein hazmanim.
One of the avreichim visiting the area pointed out that a water sports booth displayed a “Shomer Shabbos” sign, to which the mayor and his aide responded, “Take down that sign. It is illegal. In essence, that sign says ‘boycott'”
Aides to the mayor removed the sign as instructed, at which time some 100 chareidim in the area began singing Shabbos songs, with some beginning to shout “Kobi go home” and “There is no one like Aryeh [Deri]”.
As this took place, the mayor turned to the owner of the booth saying, “Do you sell food? Then there is no need for the sign. Kashrus signs are for food. I am informing you that beginning tomorrow, these signs are gone. This is a boycott sign”.
A short time later the events were already uploaded to Facebook. A chareidi woman angrily grabbed the sign from the mayor and handed it back to the owner of the booth. The owner, a traditional Jew, explained to Kobi and his delegation that without the sign, thousands of religious and chareidi Jews would not attend the attractions he offers, and therefore, he needs the sign.
Yassam commando police responded to the boardwalk and asked Kobi to leave the area so they may calm the atmosphere. Kobi however insisted on continuing with his tour of the boardwalk. “It’s my city. I am the mayor and don’t tell me to go and when I should go or remain” he exclaimed.
According to a Kikar Shabbos News report, the mayor’s anger towards the “Shomer Shabbos” sign was in response to a well-known restaurant on the boardwalk that began opening on Shabbos in the past two months and because of bein hazmanim, was compelled to shut its doors as the religious and chareidi communities no longer enter the establishment.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)