Religion Magazine

Bet Shemesh Politics Starting to Wake up

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Bet Shemesh is an interesting place, from a political perspective. There is always something intriguing going on.
Municipal elections are just a year away. That really makes it too early to start openly campaigning and announcing candidacy, but jockeying for position and misdirection has already begun.
The big questions seem to be:
 * will Moshe Abutbol run for a third term?
 * Will Degel Hatorah, or UTJ, field its own candidate?
 * Will the Degel candidate, if they field one, be Moshe Montag or Shmuel Greenberg, or someone else?
Recently the mayor, Moshe Abutbol, did something very unusual. He announced that he has not yet decided to run, but if Moshe Montag will be the Degel candidate then he, Abutbol, will support Montag and not run.
That is obviously weird. Why would a sitting mayor, contemplating his own run, announce support for a different potential candidate? There are a lot of theories. They don't really matter.
Moshe Abutbol has now announced, seemingly because Degel has not made a decision yet, that he will be running for mayor. Moshe Montag is upset, and the Degel people are upset at Abutbol for trying to influence the Degel decision, and there is a lot of talk as to who is doing what and why.
All I have to point out is that none of this matters. It is all a smokescreen that makes no difference. These are all low level politicians. They are all entirely dependent on what those above them tell them what to do. The decisions as to who will run and which party/parties will support which candidate will be made at a much higher level, between the various national party leaders and the relevant rabbonim.
They can squabble and fight and jockey for position now, but at the end of the day Degel leadership will decide who their person was, and all this squabbling will come to an end. They will talk to Shas leadership and work out their deals as to who will support whom in which cities, including Bet Shemesh, and that will be the end of all this.
This is all just low level noise.
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