Yet another city in Israel has a hareidi-religious mayor, following a court decision to force Rehovot Mayor Shuki Forer to step down from office and make way for his successor.

The successor will be Deputy Mayor Rachamim Maloul, a Knesset Member from 1999-2003 on behalf of the Sephardic-hareidi Shas party. Maloul, a longtime resident and city council member of Rehovot, served on the municipal council on behalf of the Likud. 

Maloul has also served in the past as the appointed mayor of the Bedouin town of Kseifeh, between Be’er Sheva and Arad in the northern Negev.

His tenure as Mayor will be a brief one, until municipal elections can be held, but the Interior Minister is authorized to extend his term in office for up to a year and a half.  It is expected that because elections were held just five months ago, incoming Interior Minister Eli Yishai, head of the Shas Party, will authorize the extension in the coming days – even though Maloul has left Shas.

Mayor Forer was convicted in the past of breach of trust, and a Petach Tikvah Magistrates Court ruled that such a crime is accompanied by disrepute and ignominy, preventing Forer from serving in capacities such as mayor for the coming years.

Other Cities Led by Hareidim

Other cities with hareidi-religious mayors are Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak, Emanuel, Elad, Modiin Illit and Beitar Illit.  Jerusalem had a hareidi mayor for five years, up until late last year. MK Meir Porush, of the hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism party, ran for mayor in Jerusalem last year, but lost; he said during the campaign that within ten years, most cities in Israel would have hareidi or national-religious mayors.

Did you find a mistake in the article or inappropriate advertisement? Report to us