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
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.