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Thursday, November 01, 2018 

Beit Shemesh finally ousts awful Haredi mayor, and elects its first lady mayor

After a decade of the awful Moshe Abutbol running the store in Beit Shemesh, he was narrowly - but thankfully - defeated, and better still, the city now has its first women as mayor, Aliza Bloch:
Dr. Aliza Bloch, the Zionist candidate for Mayor of the city Beit Shemesh, on Wednesday night won the mayoral elections in the city by 500 votes over incumbent mayor Moshe Abutbul.

By doing so, she will become the first woman to head the city of Beit Shemesh.

Overnight Wednesday, 1,300 votes were counted in Beit Shemesh, including about 300 of disabled persons, about 1,000 of soldiers and a few dozen prisoners. At the end of the counting it became clear that Bloch had closed the gap of 251 votes that separated her from Abutbul and even gained an advantage.

Upon learning of her victory, Bloch delivered a speech outside her campaign headquarters.

“The people of Israel look at the city of Beit Shemesh and wake up to a new hope. Beit Shemesh decided to cancel the walls and partitions," she said, adding, “Today we have proven to ourselves and to Israeli society that we respect each other and do not create gaps."
Now this is lucky they were able to get rid of a thuggish creep like Abutbol, who allowed ultra-Orthodox extremism to run rampant in the city, was partly responsible for the horror show at the Bnot Orot school, among other despicable acts for which he had to be taken to court over. Some more elaboration on Abutbol's corruption is brought up at the Jerusalem Post:
Beit Shemesh has been run for the past decade by Abutbul and a predominantly haredi municipal council, during which time many non-haredi residents, and according to the election results, significant numbers of haredim grew increasingly dissatisfied and hostile to the mayor’s administration, which has faced allegations of corruption and mismanagement of the city’s affairs. [...]

At 3 a.m., Bloch went to the town square and delivered a victory speech to dozens of loyal supporters. They had stayed up during the vote count, which went on for several hours, due to objections from Abutbul and his lawyers.

They greeted her with singing, dancing, hugs and chants of “upheaval!” Bloch, who was also congratulated by top haredi rabbis, started her victory speech by reciting the sheheheyanu blessing marking auspicious occasions.
It's clear even some of the Haredis were beginning to wake up and recognize why Abutbol was bad for business and reputation, and this may be a promising sign they're not all going by the groupthink mentality any longer. As noted further:
“I have been embraced by the haredi community,” Bloch told The Jerusalem Post. “I have backing not only from English speakers and modern haredim, but also from Hassidim, Lithuanian and Sephardi haredim, who just want the city to be run better.”
And hopefully, it will be. Interestingly enough:
Abutbul, who was mayor for 10 years, refused repeated requests for an interview with the Post.
This cements him as a sore loser. He should really be glad he's been voted out of office. Otherwise, he'd have to put up with more lawsuits due to his refusals to make the neighborhood safer for everyone.

Natan Slifkin says this is a miracle, and indeed it is. Now, we have to hope Bloch is up to the task ahead of her.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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