Ramat Gan Deputy Mayor Avihu Ben-Moshe (Jewish Home), a contender in the city’s mayoral race next Tuesday, filed a complaint with police and threatened to sue a Shas city council member for falsely charging that Jewish Home supports ideas incompatible with traditional Judaism, such as Shabbat desecration and the teaching of Christianity in Jewish schools.
In his complaint, Ben-Moshe alleged that Shas representative David Menachem was behind the publication of “Jewish Home in Ramat Gan is for Shabbat desecration,” a manifesto which appeared on the internet and in printed form in synagogues and mailboxes in the city.
The missive said that Ben-Moshe supported the desecration of Shabbat, citing as proof a 2009 incident in which a city council planning subcommittee approved the opening on Shabbat of an AM/PM supermarket in Ramat Gan. The flyer alleged that Ben-Moshe did not oppose the move.
The manifesto also accused Ben-Moshe of not preventing the introduction of Christian studies in public schools and of approving the destruction of orphanages in order to replace them with commercial buildings.
Ben-Moshe told the newspaper that the allegations are “not legitimate” and that “all red lines have been crossed.”
Jewish Home has been gaining ground in local polls and has received backing from several local rabbis, including some affiliated with Shas. Municipal elections throughout Israel are scheduled for October 22.
Shas representative Menachem dismissed the charges of slander, and said he stood by the allegations in the manifesto, which he said could be verified through city records.