Former Tiveria mayor Ron Kobi’s ouster from his position was finalized on Monday when the Supreme Court rejected the appeal he filed against the decision of Likud Minister Ze’ev Elkin to remove Kobi from office last month due to his failure to approve a budget for Tiveria over a year after he was elected as mayor.
Following the decision, Kobi filed an appeal to the Supreme Court claiming that “a witch-hunt is being carried out here led by [Interior Minister] Aryeh Deri. Unfortunately, we have a weak prime minister who is also a big liar. He promised to stop Aryeh Deri but he’s afraid of him and Aryeh Deri controls Tiveria. Zev Elkin is Deri’s puppet, a rubber stamp, and apparently Bibi is also Deri’s puppet.”
Although Kobi’s ouster is now final, there will be no new elections until the current term ends and Tiveria is being governed in the interim by a committee appointed by the Interior Ministry.
During his tenure as mayor, Kobi seemed more interested in constantly attacking anything related to religion than fulfilling his role to govern the city.
As political commentator Yehudah Schlesinger wrote on Twitter following the announcement on Monday: “There are some mayors who work and sometimes make the news and then there’s Ron Kobi who made the news and sometimes worked. They said that he would arrive at the municipality only in the late hours of the morning and sometimes not at all. Put the hatred of Chareidim on the side as awful it was. The man is a failure.”
The mekubal Harav Dov Kook and his students began dancing upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court’s rejection of Kobi’s appeal, and singing the songs “Utzu Eitzah V’sufar” and “V’nahafoch hu.”
A store in Tiveria displayed a sign announcing a 15% discount in honor of the ouster.
Last month, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Elkin (Likud) took over the authority to decide on Kobi’s case after a Supreme Court ruling approved transferring the case from Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to Elkin due to Kobi’s constant accusations that the Chareidi Interior Minister is “out to get him.” Although the Supreme Court did not agree with Kobi’s claim that Deri should not rule on his case due to a conflict of interests, they agreed to transfer authority to Elkin since Deri wanted to prevent Kobi from claiming he was victimized by the Chareidi Interior Minister.
In the long-drawn-out process of ousting Kobi from office, the combative mayor has repeatedly appealed to the Supreme Court in order to delay the process and has even claimed he was sick to delay a hearing. Kobi reportedly obtained the “sick note” from a doctor in an Arab town.
Following Elkin’s decision, Deri held a meeting with Interior Ministry senior officials and decided to appoint Deputy Director of the Interior Minister Moni Ma’atok as chairman of the council responsible for Tiveria and appointed senior municipal officials in Tiveria as council members. In accordance with the law, the appointed council will remain in position for at least three years, after which the Interior Minister will decide on a date for new elections.
Kobi, who won on a campaign of vitriol against the Chareidi and religious community, has lost the approval of virtually all of Tiveria’s residents, including completely secular ones, due to his constant outrageous attacks against religion and religious people, combative behavior and his incompetence and lack of professionalism.
Some eight months ago, Rav Yekusiel Ohav Tzion, a rav from Tiveria, visited with HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, at which time the rav explained how Ron Kobi was working hard to increase Chilul Shabbos in the holy city. As can be seen in the video below, at the time, Rav Kanievsky told Rav Tzion “He will have a big defeat”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)