New Elections in Bet Shemesh!
The explosive news of the day is the court decision that due to massive fraud in the recent elections in Bet Shemesh, there will be new elections. See the extensive Jerusalem Post article here.
It should be noted that the great anger about the Bet Shemesh elections is not only due to the numerous cases of electoral fraud. It's also about the way that the mayor's election campaign was run. Mayor Abutbol recently filed a complaint about incitement against him, complaining that "words can kill," which is ironic in light of the fact that his campaigners were demonizing Eli Cohen as a quasi-Nazi who wants to send charedi children to concentration camps. Furthermore, local charedi rabbis were using rabbinic muscle to intimidate and even order people not to vote for Eli Cohen. (This includes some rabbis of moderate charedi shuls, which led to many of their members feeling disenfranchised and leaving the shuls.)
There are many other examples of improprieties during the election campaign by Abutbol, his campaigners, and local rabbis. Many people observed that all this was undermining the foundational principles of democracy. Unfortunately, that's probably not something that will change in the new elections.
It's not yet clear when the new elections will be held. Meanwhile, here is a list of the posts that I wrote about the Bet Shemesh elections:
Who Is Responsible For Extremism?
Will Charedim Vote In Their Own Best Interests?
Letter From A Charedi Jew Regarding The Bet Shemesh Elections
What Else Do These Doctors Have In Common?
He Will Send Your Children To CONCENTRATION CAMPS!
Tribalism, Plus A Siege Mentality
The Differences Between Charedi and Dati-Leumi Rabbanim
Are You Allowed To Make Up Your Own Mind?
The Daas Torah Voting Tefillah