Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Sivan 5765 - July 6, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Beit Shemesh Mayor Asked to Reject Attempts to Contain Chareidi Population

by Betzalel Kahn

Members of the chareidi parties at the Beit Shemesh City Council are demanding Mayor Daniel Vaknin postpone the scheduled meeting of the Planning and Construction Committee called by national-religious and secular councilmen to discuss "balance" between the city's chareidi and secular populations.

The letter to the Mayor was sent by Councilmen Rabbi Moshe Montag (Degel HaTorah), Rabbi Eliezer Greenbaum (Degel HaTorah), Rabbi Dovid Weiner (Agudas Yisroel), Rabbi Moshe Abutbul (Shas), Rabbi Michael Shetreet (Shas) and Rabbi Yehuda Madizara (Shas). In the letter they note their astonishment over the invitation sent to the members of the City Building Committee for a meeting aimed "to stop the chareidim," couched in the language of "balances in the city" for the sake of the future of Beit Shemesh.

"We are concerned over the unilateral moves made at the request of several city council members, for their request to you to convene the committee stemmed from a spur-of-the- moment, emotional, political decision rather than based on strategic, long-term thinking. They are not driven by the good of the City of Beit Shemesh and its development, but by extraneous considerations that have no place in our city.

"As someone who hoists the banner of sensitivity and help for each and every segment of the public regardless of worldview we turn to you asking that you not take part in meetings and decisions of the type described above, reject this vitiate path and the hand of divisiveness and hatred, and conduct a dialogue between the sides in an peaceable manner. We are certain a dialogue of this kind can only bring good to Beit Shemesh, for unilateral moves are not beneficial for anyone. On the contrary they destroy the delicate fabric binding all of the city's residents."

The councilmen ask the Mayor to postpone the meeting until next week and to set up a joint steering committee representing the entire public "aimed at properly planning the future of the City of Beit Shemesh in a positive manner and only according to the recommendation of the committee to hold a meeting of the Planning and Construction Committee and not in an emotional and alarmed manner."

City council members representing all of the chareidi parties have joined forces to thwart anti-chareidi initiatives that have popped up recently in Beit Shemesh.


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