Who Said "Elections"?

Yehuda Segal
י"ב אלול ה'תשע"ז 03/09/17
The game is dangerous, but the slogan is "It won't happen to me". Ever heard of the Prisoner's Dilemma?

For all those who weren't paying attention, Beit Shemesh mayoral elections have already begun…

"Ko'ach" arranged a political rally with Deputy Minister Meir Porush, with Moshe Abutbul himself sitting in the corner as a guest. Shlomei Emunim, the internal faction of the Agudas Yisra'el party announced city primaries (that is, primaries for the true primaries by the Gedolim). And there are other signs in municipal hallways of power, all popping up like mushrooms after the first seasonal rainfall.

The plebes watch and listen to the Askanim determining who will be the Chosen contender against the secular supposed soon-to-be-failure. All solely for the sake of Heaven, of course.

Let's perceive the true goings-on. We all know the inescapable fact of Beit Shemesh (as evidenced by the wall-to-wall support of Abutbul last time). In a city of Oriental background, no citizen of the older neighborhoods can bear to look himself in the mirror knowing he voted for a Charedi, Ashkenazi candidate (especially, a personally unknown one). The number of positive achievements on behalf of the residents won't matter a whit.

Why then all the tumult? It's all about how much can be extracted from Oriental Abutbul in return for the party's support. The game is dangerous, but the slogan is "It won't happen to me". After all, if these intrigues carry on too long, if other candidates arise with support of second-tier Gedolim, if some arrow of Lashon Hara goes too deep, the whole election might be thrown; a result that would make no one happy.

So every political Askan busy "mixing the pot" assures himself he will stop right before it's too late. An easy promise to make; a hard one to keep. One cannot enlighten them, either; each would prefer his counterparts make the "peace compromises" first. This is a negotiation; whoever blinks first loses. Or they all do! Ever heard of the Prisoner's Dilemma?

As you may recall, Mehadrinews fired the opening shot in a huge essay on the potential Charedi candidates, the last few months were accompanied by minor political "spins" on national Israeli websites, and soft noises were heard from the direction of deputy mayor R' Shmuel Greenberg (some say he was encouraged by an online survey on some Charedi website).

Rumors have it secular ex-candidate Eli Cohen is planning on re-announcing soon. In discussion with Mr. Cohen his only comment on this was "No comment".

The flames will get hot, as usual in this country, "after the Holidays". Meanwhile, it's time to focus on Teshuva, Tefilla and Tzedaka.

This article first appeared in Hebrew.

With Heaven's help, Yehuda Segal

YSMehadrinews@Gmail.com