“My son was beaten by Police yesterday”


I received the following via email, with the subject line above:

He was walking to his apartment, while Haredim were demonstrating against the GayPride parade. He was just looking, while speaking to his mother on his cellphone.

All of a sudden, the sound of Police motorcycles were heard, and his cellphone went dead.

He called later to explain that the motorcycle Police grabbed him, threw him to the ground, and dragged him on the sidewalk with his feet. He protected his head from being beaten with Police truncheons by hold his hands above his head.

He started yelling “What do you want with me. I didn’t do anything.”

When they heard him speaking English, they asked each other in Hebrew; “Should we arrest him?”

They decided that, since he was an American, they should let him go to avoid trouble.

Since then, he is suffering from pains in his foot

Do you have a lawyer who would be willing to work pro-bono to sue the Police and contact the American embassy?

Such a lawsuit might teach the Police to be more respectful of human rights and not behave like common street thugs.

This is especially important now, since there will be a massive anti-GayParade demonstration on Friday, November 10, and I am concerned for the well-being of the participants.

Unfortunately, such a lawsuit would go nowhere. The son would need a dozen witnesses to even begin to counterbalance the willingness of Israeli police to circumvent the law when it suits them. This happens all the time.

But with this “Gay Parade” around the corner, police are arresting those putting up posters in protest, while still considering allowing the show to go on. It’s interesting how the police channel their anger towards only one side — interesting, but not surprising.

This is of a piece with a Jerusalem Post article yesterday, surrounding a survey that showed that 37 percent of Israelis consider the haredim the most hated group in Israel. At the outside, charedim constitute perhaps 10% of Israel’s population — yet the Jerusalem Post interviews Aharon Rose, a “researcher of haredi society and thought” at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who proceeds to blame the charedim themselves for inflating this number!

“Many believe that the leadership of the haredi world is happy about this,” Rose told The Jerusalem Post following the publication of the study on Tuesday. “According to this view, the perception of being hated helps them to keep their society separate from the general culture.”

Of course — the charedim just love it when the Supreme Court and Police demonstrate constant bias against charedi citizens’ rights, not to mention Jewish tradition. Everything makes sense now. When it comes to charedim, you can use the old “blame the victim” technique for everything — even hard numbers showing that secular Israel is biased against them.

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62 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    How long before these special police become some official’s private political army? They’re no good against a real fighting army but have been well trained to beat up civilians. They have no place in the military and no place in a true professional police force. Disarm and disband them before it’s too late.

  2. Ahron says:

    I agree: I want Israeli counterterrorism and security agencies to do everything necessary and possible to save innocent lives–including converting terrorists and their enablers into unidentifiable ash molecules.

    But there is really no excuse for brutishness against ordinary Arabs in settings such as security checkpoints. If policemen have behaved indecently there using the same kind of thuggish superiority-by-uniform that they employ against Israeli Jews it’s a phenomenon that should be stopped. There’s no need for brutality that serves no security purpose. And Israel’s dire security situation is not an excuse for caving into natural battlefield temptations towards inhumanity. We really do have to be better than that.

  3. Yaakov Menken says:

    Speaking only for myself, Ch”L is mistaken. I don’t see where Hillel engaged in a generalization. He referred to jackbooted Nazi behavior in Jerusalem. We have quite enough stories from Bayit Vegan through Meah Shearim to know what he was talking about. I do not share Ch”L’s certainty that some of these police wouldn’t be happy to kill a charedi, and it is well known that certain secular parties would prefer a charedi-rein Israel. So I don’t think the Nazi language, though nasty, is entirely out of bounds.

    If a post began “given the recent charedi stone-throwing” this would be acceptable, even though only a tiny minority engage in it. Nothing the charedim did is “terroristic” which is why Ch”L’s attempt to create a parallel is a non-sequitur.

    Ch”L is right to the extent that one in chareidi “uniform” who misbehaves does cause a Chilul HaShem — but one should not magnify it inaccurately by saying that “chareidim” behave that way. When it comes to the police, however, there is an endemic problem: police in uniform represent their police force, and those within the Israeli police who behave barbarically are not being punished but rather promoted.

    And, in the end, Hillel has a point. When Palestinian Arab women speak about needless abusive behavior and humiliation at checkpoints, what I saw with my own eyes does make me look at those stories with far more willingness to accept them as true than may perhaps be warranted. Yes, those checkpoints are needed. Yes, potential terrorists need to be interrogated, even roughly. But there’s no excuse for a Jew to be reduced to a barbarian, even when faced by barbarians.

    That applies both to the police, and to the Meah Shearim demonstrators — the most perceptive comments I’ve seen referred to the need for non-violent civil disobedience.

  4. Chareidi Leumi says:

    Wow, so if Hillel is allowed to make a generalization like that, I guess it would be OK for me to start off a post saying; Given the recent terroristic behavior of the Chareidim in Jerusalem…

    Of course I would never make such a generalization, but I’m truly surprised that R. Menken allowed this through.

    Nevertheless, I’d like to address a couple of issues in Hillel’s post.

    First abusing the Nazi metaphor in this way is a gross insult to the kedoshim of the Holocaust.

    Second, whether the Arabs have a point or not is irrellevent. The soldiers who operate in Palestinian neighborhoods are doing what they do to save innocent lives. Nothing about what we are forced to do visa-vis the Palestinians is pleasant, but our lives are on the line. Believe me there has been a heck of a lot of abuse of Moslems in the past 5 years by US forces to prevent another 9/11. And you people wouldn’t have it any other way.

  5. HILLEL says:

    Given the recent jackbooted Nazi behavior of the Police in Jerusalem, I’m beginning to wonder: Do the Arabs have a point when they claim that innocent men, women, and children in their communities are being assaulted by police?

  6. Ahron says:

    Of course I want the police to use all the force necessary to protect innocent people who are under assault by lawless brigands. And I want the brigands to be met with overwhelming force in response to their violence. I also don’t want the police to be those brigands. These are two different issues here. Walk and chew gum….

  7. bochur says:

    As a bochur learning in chevron yeshiva, i can personally testify to the disgusting, thuggish behavior of the police here. A friend of mine who was arrested for participating in a demonstration, was, while already in police custody, repeatedly beaten and spat on by policemen, for the sole reason of being accused of lying. When a few bochurim threw stones at the policemen, the police responded by throwing the stones back at the boys. If even someone as deluded as charedi leumi can justify this behavior or find parallels to the systematic Israeli police policy of unprovoked violence in any half-civilized country, I will be very impressed. The problem here is not that ‘incidents occasionally occur’ as some would like to convince themselves, It is rather that the police and the special units in general (as anyone who has looked into a yasamnik’s (shem reshoim yerakev) eyes can tell), constantly behave with no respect for basic human rights whatsoever. If this is how the police behave with Jews, perhaps we should start having some rachmonus on the Arabs!

  8. Menachem Lipkin says:

    Ahron makes a fair point that the lawless behaviour of some Chareidim and the lawless behaviour of some policemen are not mutually exclusive issues. However, there is a corelation between the lawless behaviour of some Chareidim and how much the lawless behaviour of some cops affect all Chareidim.

    Furthermore, there is not a whole lot that can be done by so frequently publicizing the police behaviour on this blog other that to have, as one of the posters mentioned, a “maragel” affect, i.e. by publicizing loshon hora about Eretz Yisroel the already negative attitudes toward living here by many in the Chareidi community are just being reinforced. Whereas, placing more emphasis on the issue of Chareidi lawlessness, if done properly with the intent of working on a solution, has much more of a “toeles”.

    Also, in terms of relative importance, the issue of police lawlessness pales in comparison to the sinas chinam that is being generated by Chareidi lawlessness.

  9. alfie says:

    Steve Brizel, you are right. Except I think you haven’t got enough emuno. We should stay away and allow the Ribbono shel olam to take vengeance on the sinners.

  10. Baruch Horowitz says:

    By the way, I’ve seen posters that Rav Elyashiv, as well as Roshei Yeshiva from Kol Torah have forbade people from participating in the riots(ie, damaging property). Rav Elyashiv is quoted as saying that “this is not the way of the Torah”.

  11. Chareidi Leumi says:

    Ahron, let me get this straight. You want the brutal, unprofessional, lawless, abusive, malfeasent, police to open fire on Chareidim who throw rocks? Wow, and I thought I was tough just cause I wanted the police to actually arrest these Zealots. You da man!

    The provacateur claims are nonsense and illogical. The police, the government, Martians (whoever you people think are behind this “conspiracy”) have nothing to gain in this case. Unless you think they’re doing it just so they can get their jollies beating up Chareidim, but then according to many people here the police don’t really need an excuse to do that.

  12. Rabbi Zvi says:

    Steve Brizel is correct.