"…Nevertheless, Abutbul seems to be gaining support from another direction: moderate Haredim, who include many English-speaking immigrants. Tov, the party that represents this group and is seeking to retain its lone city council seat, is internally divided over the mayoral race. Party chairman Aharon Solomon supports Cohen, but his predecessor and many key party activists have switched their support to Abutbul.…"
Rabbi Moshe Abutbol
The polls have closed in Beit Shemesh and the election results are expected to be announced within the next few hours.
Will the arguably corrupt haredi mayor, Rabbi Moshe Abutbol – who has compared his political opponents to Nazis and warned haredim that their children will be put in concentration camps by them – be re-elected? Will Abutbol be reelected even though his closest confidant was arrested for allegedly orchestrating a massive pro-Abutbul voter fraud in the election several months ago and that arrest and the massive haredi voter fraud uncovered prompted an almost unprecedented re-do of the election?
This small tidbit from an Ha'aretz story might not project the vote's outcome, but it does speak volumes about the haredi community and why it is so dangerous for Israeli democracy:
…Nevertheless, Abutbul seems to be gaining support from another direction: moderate Haredim, who include many English-speaking immigrants. Tov, the party that represents this group and is seeking to retain its lone city council seat, is internally divided over the mayoral race. Party chairman Aharon Solomon supports Cohen, but his predecessor and many key party activists have switched their support to Abutbul.…
Why would moderate English speaking haredim vote for an abusive and allegedly corrupt Shas Party apparatchik over a moderate secular opponent who is not anti-haredi?
Because top Israeli haredi rabbis – like haredi leader Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, who not only visited Beit Shemesh last week to support Abutbol's campaign, he reportedly told a voter sitting shiva elsewhere in the country today to get up from shiva early and travel immediately to Beit Shemesh to vote for Abutbol – and their American haredi rabbinic counterparts ordered them to do so. These rabbis claimed it was an obligation from the Torah to vote for Abutbul. Not doing so would, in the construct, be an aveirah – a sin.
The top haredi rabbis in the world told these moderate English speaking haredim (and all other haredim, as well) that they will essentially lose part of their olam haba (world to come) and will suffer hellfire if they do not vote for a man who likely participated in massive voter fraud and who has a long public history of corruption, dishonesty, and truly abusive behavior.
And like sheep, many of these moderate English speaking haredim have apparently followed those rabbis' orders.
Haredi leaders care nothing for democracy or the rule of law.
And, it now seems, in the end, many moderate English speaking haredim care little for democracy or the rule of law, either.
Democracy most often cannot survive rampant political corruption.
It is likely Israel's will not survive it, either.