Religion Magazine

Ron Kobi Brings Chilul Shabbos to Tiberias

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
The new mayor-elect of Tiberias, Ron Kobi, after having already developed a reputation for himself as being anti-Haredi, has now made another big move to bolster that reputation.
Ron Kobi brings chilul shabbos to TiberiasKobi put together a big birthday bash for the city of Tiberias - the 2000th birthday of Tiberias. The party was to be held this past Friday night at the Big Ben Square along the boardwalk. In his invitation to the public Kobi said that he is doing this to bring Tiberias back to to the life of the 90s with such street parties and now he expects the young people of Tiberias to come and enjoy the boardwalk they wanted and requested remain open on Shabbos. A liberal mayor will make the city liberal. He called upon the booth owners to come open their booths and said that this would draw the tourists out of the hotels and into the celebrations.
Local Haredi residents, according to Kikar, confirmed that the party went well into the wee hours of the night, accompanied by terrible immodesty and blatant chilul shabbos.
I wonder if this is going to be a trend in which Ron Kobi moves all events to Saturdays, just to intentionally try to scare away the Haredim from moving into the city, and possibly to chase out some of the ones that already live there. For example, the Tiberias Marathon, the oldest marathon in Israel that has been held annually since 1977, originally was run on shabbos at the end of December. They later moved it to Thursdays at the beginning of January and then to Fridays, as it is now. I can imagine Ron Kobi deciding to move the marathon back to Saturdays.
What he might not be aware of is that Haredim fight back very well. If a place they are looking to seems unattractive, the community might decide to go somewhere else instead. If the Haredi community already lives there and someone picks a fight with them - they'll fight back. And hard. The community will target Tiberias as a place to take over in bigger numbers and to depose of Kobi and everyone who helped him, and reverse everything he will ever have done to the extreme. Now it is just a matter of how long it will take. Somehow I don't think they will let this slide.
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