Mayor Rabbi Moshe Abutbol
Court Overturns Beit Shemesh Election Due To Haredi Voter Fraud
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
In an unprecedented decision, earlier today an Israeli court voided the election results and ordered a new election be held in the scandal-plagued Jerusalem bedroom suburb of Beit Shemesh, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The Jerusalem District Court took that radical action due to massive and systematic haredi fraud uncovered on the day of the election.
The benefactor of that election fraud, Mayor Moshe Abutbol of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party, will be appealing the court’s ruling to Israel’s High Court of Justice.
That announcement was not made by Abutbol – whose closest confidant has already been arrested in the scheme – but by Shas Party Chairman MK Arye Deri – himself a convicted felon who served prison time for taking bribes and breech of public trust.
The date for the new election – which must be held within 120 days of today’s decision (or from the end of any appeals process, if an appeal is actually filed) – will by law be set by Israel’s Interior Minister Gidon Sa'ar.
Abutbol and any other impacted elected officials have 14 days to file an appeal or the court’s ruling issued today becomes final.
However, “because of the unusual procedural situation, Abutbol would first need to get permission from the Supreme Court to appeal, followed by a separate appeal filing if given permission,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
Haredi politicians denounced the court’s decision as “undemocratic.”
“The day will come when the secular regime will place the haredim outside of the law, as was done in Egypt, all in the name of democracy. The haredi community needs to prepare for life under a despotic regime and to struggle with the tools that are still in their hands to protect their religious freedoms.
“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s regime and the supreme court in Egypt also find democratic explanations which are perfect for eliminating their opponents and to trample the human rights in the name of ‘enlightenment,’” MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler of the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism reportedly said.
Deri said the court chose today to “nullif[y] democracy in Beit Shemesh.”
Before today’s court ruling, 828 votes were already disqualified. On top of that, hundreds of false or fraudulent IDs and disguises were confiscated by police in two Beit Shemesh haredi apartments on election day. Investigators believe what they found is only the tip of the iceberg. Also, dozens of reports were made of fraudulent attempts to vote at polling places while voters trying to legally vote for Abutbol's non-haredi opponent were sometimes left without ballots to cast. Additionally, many anti-Abutbol ballots were damaged, allegedly by poll workers loyal to Abutbol.
Among the evidence Israel’s attorney General Yehuda Weinstein presented in court were a text messages to one of Abutbol’s close advisers that showed involvement in the scheme.
Abutbol won that tainted election by 936 votes.
[Hat Tips: Seymour, WCS.]