An opposition candidate for mayor of Bet Shemesh has accused incumbent Moshe
Abutbol of sending municipal workers to remove his campaign signs in locations
throughout the city.
On Friday, independent candidate Eli Cohen’s
campaign posted a picture on Facebook of a man identified as a municipal
employee in the process of tearing down several of his banners.
too bad that the mayor does not understand democracy,” one of Cohen’s election
workers posted alongside the picture on Cohen’s official campaign page, accusing
Abutbol of “using his power against the public.”
MK Dov Lipman, a
resident of Bet Shemesh and a longtime opponent of Abutbol, told The Jerusalem
on Sunday that he “can confirm” that the man in the photograph is a city
worker. The man in question, Lipman continued, is a “very nice guy who would
only be doing this if he was ordered to do so.”
“We are talking about a
city filled with chaos regarding unlawful signs – from illegal signs demanding
how women should dress to signs for businesses in places where they are not
allowed,” Lipman asserted.
“This is a stain to democracy and brings shame
to our municipality." According to local blogger and pundit Rafi Goldmeier,
Cohen is the “leading non-haredi candidate” in a city whose ultra-Orthodox
population is expanding rapidly.
Speaking with the Post
, Cohen accused
the municipality of “governmental bullying,” claiming that the municipal workers
had admitted that they were “sent by the mayor and the management of city
Residents reported seeing some posters still up in the
ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Bet Shemesh.
Mayor Abutbol’s office
did not respond to requests for comment.