MK Smotrich: We Have an ‘Anti-Semitic’ Mayor in Teveria

YERUSHALAYIM -
Ron Cobi, mayor of Teveria, protests outside a shiur of Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak in Teveria, March 3. (David Cohen/Flash90)

An attack by Teveria Mayor Ron Cobi on chareidi Jews has prompted Jewish Home MK Betzalel Smotrich to term him an “anti-Semite.” Cobi’s remarks in a video about “collaborators” who work with chareidim to “take over” the city is an “unbelievable” phenomenon, which requires legal action, Smotrich said.

In the video, Cobi says that he is “declaring war. This is a war for our city, our way of life, and against religious coercion in Israel.” The chareidim, he said, “have intentionally ruined this city, drying up tourism and quality of life, and they have collaborators – the people of Teveria who do business with them, who are among us. We must remove them. All the land-sellers and apartment rental agents who work with the chareidim should be ashamed of themselves.”

Also guilty are “the transportation companies, who are making millions, all the agents who arrange for bus transportation” for chareidi students “who drive themselves and their children in limousines, on our dime. This is a war, and if you do not wake up, if the people of Teveria do not wake up, you will no longer be able to live here in another year,” Cobi concluded in the video.

“Forget the fact that this man obviously needs help, preferably in a mental institution,” Smotrich wrote in a social media post. “It appears that in Israel we have an anti-Semitic mayor in Teveria who is getting paid by the state, and is continuing to work without interference.” Cobi should be prosecuted for the video he released insulting and defaming chareidim, Smotrich wrote, but “the State Attorney is too busy trying to get Michael Ben-Ari off our party’s list,” referring to recommendations by Avichai Mandelblit that the number-five member of the Rightwing Union list be banned from running.