Cleaning Up Corruption - One City At a Time

The historic conviction of Ehud Olmert, the Mayor of Jerusalem at the time of the offenses, and subsequently Israel's Prime Minister, together with eight other officials in Tel Aviv District Court, by Judge David Rozen, is a landmark for the rule of law in Israel.

The message, which also came through clearly in the conviction of the ex-President Moshe Katzav on rape charges, in the very same court-room in 2011, is that no-one is above the law in the State of Israel.

The cleaning up of corruption in Jerusalem, where the Holyland development is located, which was the building project which generated millions of dollars in bribery payments, is an important step in cleaning up that municipality which Judge Rozen described as "deeply corrupt and corrupting".

This message is especially important, including in other municipalities around the country where city leadership can see themselves as immune to the rule of law.

Unfortunately, contempt by the leadership for the law has been enhanced by the electorate which, for example, in 2013 municipal elections in Ramat Hasharon, Bat Yam Mayor and Upper Nazareth, all returned mayors to office, in spite of corruption charges they were each facing.

Here in Beit Shemesh, in spite of the electoral fraud and campaigning irregularities in the October 2013 elections, the incumbent mayor and his cronies were successfully re-elected to office in March 2014.

As in many of Israel's cities, corruption, kickbacks and bribes in Beit Shemesh are rumoured to be widespread in the machinations of running the city. 

If you have experienced such corruption first hand, or can offer information, call the police! If for whatever reason you don't feel up to that, feel free to contact me offline (

It is now time for Beit Shemesh to follow Jerusalem's lead.   


  1. oh for goodnes's sake man!

    the elections were free and fair and abutbul won fair and square

    now get over it

    if anyone needs investigating its our previous mayor Mr Vaknin or his predecessor Mr Fadida (who made Vaknin look like a boy scout)

    for those of you have dont remember or dont want to remember what kind of man Vaknin was - think about this...

    at the entrance to bet shemesh one still has to cross a level crossing and wait for the train to pass at least twice an hour.

    as one leaves the city on road 38 there is a slip road just beyond the level crossing which takes one to a small cafe / coffee shop. just to the south of this cafe there is a single lane road that passes through a tunnel under the 38.
    this road leads to an empty plot.

    that plot used to house an illegal casino which was owned by a friend of Vaknin (and the previous head of the police)

    that tunnel was built with money provided many years ago by the govt for Vaknin to build a tunnel or bridge for the train line in order to ease traffic.

    this is the man that was mayor of our city for 16 years and employed his cronies in every official capacity that he could... some of them are still there as they cant be fired (dont forget that a couple of years ago abutbul received bullets in an envelope after threatening to fire some civil service dead weight)

    if you have evidence of fraud comitted by abutbul or if you actually have any evidence of corruption yourself then take it to the police.

    don't post spurious claims on your blog that there is corruption and then go looking for it.

    put up or shut up as they say

    honestly! tzedek-tzedek my aching ass

  2. "rumoured"? "cronies"? C'mon. That's really unfair, and doesn't do much for the credibility of this blog. You want to attack the way the mayor handled Orot, or the way city resources are allocated, or the garbage collection? Fine. But implying that there's corruption based on "rumors" is wrong, cheapens the impact of actual corruption charges based on evidence, and looks like nothing but sore loser tactics.

  3. Hi Baruch "anonymous" here from the "other rbs blog" See we agree again!!!

    1. LOL. Anonymous, old buddy, we've got to stop meeting like this!

  4. Hi Baruch and Anonymous

    I am personally aware of significantly more than rumours.

    The snag, of course, is to get people who have been involved (and who are often themselves compromised) to make a formal complaint.

    Thus, in light of the dramatic success in convicting Olmert & Co., the 'call to action' is to now for people to step forward in Beit Shemesh.


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