While the ultra-Orthodox parties are operating in a procedure of general boycott of the government, which excludes the ultra-Orthodox, acts against them and even incites against the ultra-Orthodox public, Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein hosted Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked last night (Thursday).
Shaked, arrived last night at the Bnei Brak municipality building and was scheduled to meet with Mayor Rubinstein, secretary of the Council of Torah Scholars of Degel HaTorah and the staff of his office. A statement issued by Shaked said that “the meeting was on professional issues and together with the director general of the Ministry of the Interior, Yair Hirsch, we discussed the challenges of the city and the ways of assistance.”
Shaked added in a press release after the meeting that “as always, I was happy to meet the mayor. Bnei Brak is a special city in which the amazing thing is that even though it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, the happiness index is one of the highest in the world. “
However, the meeting provoked great anger and harsh criticism was leveled at the mayor for the puzzling move, which comes a week when Shaked herself and Housing Minister Zeev Elkin decided to bury the promotion of the new ultra-Orthodox city near Kiryat Gat, and a week in which Naftali Bennett, the party Limit the power of ultra-Orthodox politicians.
A senior Degel HaTorah official told Kikar Hashabbat that he had not been asked about the meeting before it took place and had not been consulted. “Disgusting,” he said of the meeting itself, “just disgusting,” adding to a particularly scathing critique of the step Rubinstein took.
MK Moshe Arbel of Shas also attacked Minister Ayelet Shaked’s hospitality in Bnei Brak, saying that “Elkin canceled the construction of the ultra-Orthodox city in Shafir.”
Following the storm and rage, Rubinstein issued a clarification statement, in which he claims that “yesterday I sat down with Interior Minister Shaked for a professional working meeting on municipal budget issues.
He said, “Needless to say, as with every step in the public and private sphere, I asked the great and merry rabbis of Israel Shlita before the meeting took place, and they ordered me to hold it after hearing the details and the budgetary need.”
Rubinstein adds and clarifies that “there was no expression at this meeting, God forbid, of any kind of support for the government or its various positions.”