It appears that very little can be accomplished in modern Israel without the intervention of the nation’s ultra-liberal secularist High Court of Justice. The election of an ashkenazi and sephardi chief rabbi of Yerushalayim does not appear to be an exception.
Despite the announced decision by Minister of Religious Services (Shas) R’ Yaakov Margi to convene and reevaluate the current situation, to appoint different delegates for the voting process on the new chief rabbis of the capital, this appears inadequate for Mayor Barkat, who is turning to the nation’s highest court to involve itself in the controversial process.
The secularists and dati leumi communities are up in arms over the fact that the majority of the voting delegates represent the chareidi sector. They insist this is unacceptable since the chareidi population in the capital, while growing and perhaps significant, still represents a minority.
The mayor remains committed to his pre-election deal with the dati leumi community, to work towards appointing a rav who is affiliated with this stream of the frum community. Towards making good on his commitment, the mayor has ordered the city’s legal officials to file the petition, stating the chareidim comprise one-third of the capital’s population, while the secularists, traditionalists and dati-leumi comprise two-thirds and the representation on the voting body must reflect these demographic realities. The city points out that on the Jerusalem City Council, the chareidim number 12 of 31 seats (38%).
The petition states that this being the case, it is unacceptable that the voting body which will elect the city’s next chief rabbis only enjoys 40% representation of the community which comprises two-thirds of the city’s residents while the chareidim, which represent one-third of the city’s residents, enjoy 60% of the voting body representation.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)