Ousted Tiberias mayor Ron Cobi appeals to High Court and is refused

"Cobi is an example of the wild incitement against the ultra-Orthodox public in recent months, which has led to schism and fragmentation," Ben-Gvir said. "Minister Elkin did well... to end his term."

Mayor of Tiberias Ron Cobi (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/MAARIV)
Mayor of Tiberias Ron Cobi
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/MAARIV)
Tiberias Mayor Ron Cobi was removed from his position on Monday following his failure to approve the city’s municipal budget before the deadline set by law, despite an extension by Interior Minister Arye Deri.
In an attempt to prevent his removal from office, Cobi appealed to the Supreme Court asking it to issue an order to halt his removal from office. Cobi claimed he was the first mayor in decades to balance the city’s budget, and that this issue cannot be decided during a temporary, transitional government.
The court refused to issue such an order but noted this decision does not rule out the possibility the court will agree to discuss the appeal at a later date.
Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin was empowered to discuss the matter in place of the ultra-Orthodox Deri, as Cobi claimed there was a conflict of interest due to his contentious relationship with the haredi community.
On Tuesday, Cobi attacked Deri and his decision, claiming that “There is a witch hunt here led by Arye Deri.”
Cobi did not fail to also bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the discussion, saying that: “We unfortunately have a prime minister who is weak and a liar. He promised to stop Deri, but he is afraid of him – and Deri controls Tiberias. Elkin is Deri’s puppet, a rubber stamp – and it seems that Bibi is Deri’s puppet as well.”
“The most important thing now is to get the Tiberias municipality back on track, and get it better so that the residents of the city are not harmed,” Deri said.
“Immediately following Minister Elkin’s decision, I appointed Interior Ministry deputy director-general Mooney Ma’atok as interim mayor, and with him, elected officials from a number of government offices, who will serve as councilors and do all they can to help the city of Tiberias and its residents.”
Elected mayor in October 2018, Cobi became embroiled in conflicts with representatives of the ultra-Orthodox parties at city hall. In the elections for the 22nd Knesset, he ran for the secular right-wing party, but did not pass the threshold.
“I welcome Minister Elkin’s decision to oust Ron Cobi from office,” said Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir. “Cobi is an example of the wild incitement against the ultra-Orthodox public in recent months, which has led to schism and fragmentation. Minister Elkin did well to decide to end his term.”
United Torah Judaism MK Uri Maklev also expressed his praise for Elkin’s decision.
“I congratulate Minister Elkin on his decision to oust the Tiberias mayor, Ron Cobi,” Maklev said.
“While the public and the media enjoyed the clown performance of Ron Cobi,” he said that the city and the country suffered from his antics. He added that the former mayor had been operating in opposition to the role he filled, and that he dishonored all those who managed the city with him.
“The public does not want to hear from a man who operates only from a place of hate,” Maklev continued.
“There is no doubt that Minister Elkin saw before his own eyes what was good for the residents of Tiberias – and we hope that the city will get on a better path for its residents.”
At the time of this writing, it is unclear if Cobi actually left the office of mayor as KAN news reported he is adamant to remain, and refuses to answer phone calls.