Eretz Yisrael Time

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Monday, September 25, 2006
First Lurker sent me the link, and then Jameel wrote about it, but I’ve been thinking if we could get the names of those Border Policemen (hopefully none named Martin) and bring them over to my settlement.

Apparently the Border Police felt that their job was to beat up the guy leading the Rosh Hashana prayers at the Kotel Hakatan (who had reached the point where you blow the Shofar) because some Arab lady complained.

If you didn’t know, the Kotel Hakatan is where the Jews used to pray when the British and Arabs wouldn’t let them pray at the big Kotel. Of course it was convenient for the Jews back then because what is today the Muslim Quarter of the Old City was actually then the Jewish Quarter until 1948 - when the Arabs massacred and chased out the Jewish residents. It is also pretty close to the area around the Kodesh Kedoshim which makes it even more important.

You see, every morning at around 4:00 and of course late at night (and of course throughout the day), the muezzins all around us blast their prayers at near full volume (they only go to full volume when they know it‘s a Jewish holiday). And for some reason the muezzin’s speakers are pointed directly at my home, even though nearly all their residents live on the exact opposite side of the muezzin - go figure.

I admit, it’s risky bringing the Magav near us, after Amona and Rosh HaShana it seems that the internal confusion the government inculcated into them is pretty serious and they don‘t know who the enemy is.

On the other hand, until I get around to secretly replacing their tape late some night with some Menachem Herman perhaps we can get some relief.

16 comments:

Moze said...

Rumor has it the good people of Neve Tzuf replaced the local muezzin tape with a Pirchei tape about 20 years ago.

Joe Settler said...

I heard similar, except it was Mordechai ben-David.

daat y said...

And you think Jewish police care about Jews?

Martin Cooper said...

Oh, Joe, (sigh), since you brought my name into it I guess I have to respond. No, I wasn't there, it wasn't my unit, and I have no information about what Mr. Eliyahu did or didn't do that motivated the police officers on the scene to arrest him. However, there are other aspects of the story, as reported by Arutz-7, that are troubling. It is reported, "the other members of the prayer group came out and tried to prevent the policemen from taking Eliyahu away." Now, how did they do that? Via a process of calm and rational dialogue? Somehow, I doubt it. One could assume, based on past experience (Gush Katif, Amona, Bar-Ilan Boulevard on Shabat, the Vallis alleged child abuse case, and many others), that these religious gentlemen let their tempers get the best of them, got physical with the police officers, and then, of course, the clubs came out. In civilized Western democracies this is called "interference with a police officer in the performance of his duty," "obstruction of justice," and if hands are laid upon the police officer, "assault." If some object other than hands strikes the officer, it's "aggravated assault." All of these are criminal offenses, felonies (in normal countries, at least). Nevertheless, it doesn't appear that anyone other than Mr. Eliyahu was arrested or charged (and I guess we'll find out only when Mr. E goes to court what he's alleged to have done that justified--or didn't--his arrest). Beyond that, however, the Arutz-7 report contains some interesting internal inconsistencies. It is reported, according to Arutz-7's sources, that the police were "swinging their clubs violently." A witness reports, "the police beat us up very harshly." Despite all, however, according to Arutz-7, "no one was hospitalized." How interesting. In my relatively short tenure in a Magav volunteer unit I've not had occasion to use violence against any human being, Jew or Arab; this may be hard for you to believe, but we're constantly reminded by our commanders that force is to be used only to protect against danger to life, our own or that of others. That said, if I ever have to swing my club violently, or my rifle butt, or whatever, be assured that the recipient of my swing will most likely require medical attention. So what really happened at the Kotel? I don't think we can really tell from Arutz-7's slipshod report. And finally, (sigh, again), yes daat y, Jewish police do care about Jews, and yes, Joe, the call of the muezzin annoys and pisses me off too.

Sugarfoot said...

If you want to find all the cops
They're hanging out in the donut shop
They sing and dance (oh whey oh)
Spin the clubs cruise down the block
Bangles - Walk like an Egyptian

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Joe: It was done in Hevron, Mearat HaMachpela 23 years ago by Baruch Marzel (he used an MBD tape). I know this, since a good friend who was there, was arrested for being a conspirator...

My friend is since, not really on speaking terms with Marzel.

Joe Settler said...

For now on I think I may start mentioning individual commentors in my posts, since I get good responses when I do that.

:)

I don't have time right now, but I hope to respond soon.

Joe Settler said...

Oh, but I will comment now that I have seen (and received) severe and brutal police violence without any instigation other than apparently because this is what they were told to do to teach us a lesson and stop the protests.

I discussed it a while ago in detail. The people protesting peacefully on the sidewalk were merely holding up signs and the people the police beat up did have to go to the doctor and hospital (including myself).

But is this really the forum to discuss state sanctioned police violence?

Ben Bayit said...

This post of yours led me into one of my best (IMHO) posts - or certainly the one most likely to get me arrested :-)

Lurker said...

To Martin:

It is sufficiently pathetic that ignorant Israeli politicians and media pundits regularly justify repressive, anti-democratic policies in the name of what they like to call "Democracy". Now you come along and add the absurd claim that these abuses are actually the norm in "civilized Western democracies".

No sir, they are most definitely not. Arresting an innocent worshipper who has not broken the law is not part of the duties of a police officer; and therefore, interference with such an arrest does not constitute "interference with a police officer in the performance of his duty". There are numerous precedents to this effect in the U.S., where charges have been dismissed in the cases of demonstrators charged with this very offense, after the court determined that the police officers in question were acting outside the bounds of their authority. By classifying such an immoral and inexcusable action by the police as "the performance of his duty" and "justice", you are are justifying the violation of our most basic rights, and openly aligning yourself with the side of tyranny and Jewish self-persecution.

I am very interested in what you imagine Mr. Eliyahu could have possibly done -- in the middle of davening the amida -- that could have somehow "motivated the police officers on the scene to arrest him" (apart from the act of blowing the shofar). And if there actually is a reasonable explanation that justifies the behavior of the Police, then why, pray tell, do they refuse to reveal it to us? When Arutz-7 contacted the Jerusalem Police Spokesman for a comment, all he had to say was, "When we have an answer for you, I will get back to you." By stating that "we'll find out only when Mr. E goes to court what he's alleged to have done that justified -- or didn't -- his arrest", you further betray your ignorance of rights and norms in a democratic society. The principle of transparency in the criminal justice system demands that the Police give the public a prompt explanation for such a bizarre action. It would be an outrage if we are required to wait until Eliyahu's trial (should there ever be one) to hear the Police's side of the story.

Regarding your claim that anybody beaten by the police will invariably require hospitalization, I can testify from personal experience that this is not necessarily so. At a nonviolent demonstration in December 1994, my wife -- who was six months pregnant -- asked one of your kind, peaceful colleagues, who had illegally removed his ID tag (as is the norm among the Israel Police prior to engaging in brutality) to identify himself. He responded by forcefully pushing her over a trash bin to the ground. When I then made a remark indicating what I thought of his behavior, he grabbed me with both hands by the throat, and attempted to strangle me. (Based upon your explanation, I can only presume that he perceived my wife's question and my own remark as dangerous to his life.) I began to lose consciousness, but was thankfully rescued by a friend who forcibly dislodged me from the officer's grip. I did not go the hospital. Two weeks later, at another demonstration, I spotted that same officer who had assaulted me, and I tried to report this to another police officer. He responded to my report by shouting an expletive while smashing his baton against my neck and knees. I was in pain for about three days; however, I did not go to the hospital -- even though perhaps I should have.

It is very difficult to take you seriously after your libelous citation of Gush Katif and Amona as places where "religious gentlemen let their tempers get the best of them, [and] got physical with the police officers". After all the apocalyptic "civil war" predictions by the left, there were almost no incidents of physical violence against the police during the forced eviction in Gush Katif -- this was stated in the media by many of your own colleagues. The fact that there was no violent resistance to speak of in the "Disengagement" has been cited repeatedly by the left as an argument in favor 0lmert's "Convergence" plan ("Look how easy it was!") [And the lone report of "acid" being thrown from the roof of the Kfar Darom synagogue was declared bogus by the Police themselves.]

After Amona, the shocking level of police brutality was finally exposed to the wider public in the mainstream media, and was condemned even by politicians on the left. The publically available video footage of passive youngsters being repeatedly smashed on their heads with batons by Magav animals speaks for itself. The evidence was so incontrovertible that it led to the formation of a bipartisan Knesset investigatory committee.

Have you not seen the photos and video footage from Amona?? Have you not seen the recording of the Magav commander at the peaceful demonstration in Kfar Maimon -- broadcast on Channel 10 -- telling his men that he wants them to "smash heads in"???! How do you reconcile these things with your ridiculous portayal of a gentle, humane Magav force??

And tell me -- if the behavior of the police is as beyond reproach as you purport, then why do they always remove their name tags -- all at the same time -- minutes before engaging in acts of violence? This is a brazen violation of the law, and only a complete imbecile can fail to understand why they do it. It can be seen in video footage from Amona, Kfar Maimon, and dozens of other incidents.

There was a publicized case several years ago in which Nadia Matar of the Women in Green was charged with assaulting a police officer. The officer in question was Mickey Levy, several years before he became the Jerusalem Police Commander. When she went to trial, the prosecution put Levy himself and seven other police officers on the stand, and they all testified to having witnessed Matar attacking Levy during the course of a demonstration in the Russian Compound. When the defense got its turn, they declined to call any witnessess, and instead produced a videotape of the incident in question shot by a Channel 2 cameraman. (Channel 2 had never aired the segment, and Matar had to get a subpeona in order to compel Channel 2 to produce the tape.) The tape clearly showed that Matar was attacked without provocation in a most brutal manner by Levy, and then dragged away in cuffs. It also showed that she never raised a hand to him, neither before nor during Levy's assault. The judge immediately dismissed the charges and closed the case. Not one of the eight police officers was charged with perjury or even reprimanded, in spite of a complaint filed by Matar. And Levy, of course, got promoted up the ladder until he became the Jerusalem District Commander, and later the Israel Police Liason in the U.S.

This is the organization you work with, Martin.

After thirteen years of witnessing shocking brutality by police -- especially Magav -- at anti-government demonstations, your claim that Magav commanders train their men to avoid unnecessary violence rings rather hollow, to put it very mildly. Either (a) you are extremely naive, and your "relatively short tenure in a Magav volunteer unit" has not been enough to expose you to reality, or (b) you are an out-and-out liar. You sound like a decent, genuine fellow, so I prefer to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume the former.

To be blunt: The Israel Police -- and foremost among them the Magav -- is an association of violent, cruel, dishonest, barbaric low-lifes. The fact that you personally may not be such a person does not change this plain truth. You have actively chosen to make yourself a part of an evil, corrupt, criminal organization. I wouldn't be so proud of that if I were you.

Joe Settler said...

bb: And for a second I thought you were writing about my post!

Next time include a link.

Ben Bayit said...

nah - your post on this is tame. My post on this could get us arrested. Or at least the charges of indictment on my post would be more serious than the ones for your post.

At least double the community service time

:-)

Don't worry - that Herut election banner from 1949 will show it's face again in the future on Ben Bayit. you can be assured of that.

Simply Jewish said...

I'm a religeous Jew, living in the Shomron. Too old to join the IDF & still wanting to play an active part in the defence of Israel, I took the opportunity to join a Magav unit dedicated to defending Jerusalem. Check out our unit's mission statement: www.magavjerusalem.com.
Our duty is simply to stop Arab illegal infiltration into Jerusalem & we are affective! There is no way that I would support an operation against expelling Jews from Israel, which our unit publicy stated that it had no involvement in. OK that's me!
To stop all the curses against Magav, the police & even the IDF, that in effect include me, should I simply not turn up for duty and trust that no potential terrorists will exploit my absence? Better still, should I discourage other Magavniks that include many other religeous Jews many also living in Yesha, from also performing such duties? I was even more annoyed at hearing reports about Jews being beaten up by other Jews, than you were! Why? The reporting style led to wild calls that all members of Magav, the police etc., are all fascist Jew hating pigs! That's simply not the case & untrue. Why not say that all Jews are to blame, after all there were Jews involved in the alleged incidents? Once again, my comrades leave their family & homes in order to perform dangerous tasks during the wee hours of the morning, to protect our Holy nation. I intend continuing to do my job (unpaid) to the best of my ability as I see it as an important mitzve for Am Yisroel. I'm not looking for appreciation, I am however asking that I can do this job without curses from other Jews who have no idea about who is wearing which uniform & why. Justice, justice we should pursue is written in the Torah with the word 'justice' appearing twice, why? To tell us that we should pursue justice, and that it should be pursued in a just way! Please G-d this will be the case, whether against Arabs intending to commit acts of terror against our people, or those misusing their authority. Shona Tova.

Anonymous said...

simply jewish, I'm curious. Are your feelings more wounded by your fellow Magavniks' behavior in assaulting a Jew at prayer, or by Magav being called names as a result? (Is that why you purport to be "even more annoyed" than me?)

-- MAOZ

Simply Jewish said...

Maoz,Shuvua Tov!
My feelings are wounded first & foremost by the insensitive way Jews can relate to other Jews, particularly in our own Land. This extends to 'expelling' Jews from Israel's Gush Katif, which along with many others I tried to actively prevent, Armona, Northern Shomron etc. It certainly includes blatant attempts to disrupt our prayers at any time. Regarding the Kotel incident, I hope that following a 'kosher' enquiry full justice is served. Which leads on to my next point...'fellow Magavniks'. Now I'm curious, are you implying that I'm a partner in crime through association? I see my prime 'fellowship' as belonging to Am Yisroel. The point is should I renounce my fellowship from being part of Am Yisroel based on the deeds of other Jews, maybe to descend into exile & write passionate comments on A7 from afar? Or perhaps should I decide not to fullfil the mission statement of our particular unit...'Guardians of Jerusalem' against Arab infiltration, despite the fact that we have captured many of them? I could supposedly justify such action on the basis of being more socially acceptable to other right wing Jews? Another alternative is to disband the police, Magav, the Knesset (very tempting!) etc., based on the obvious problems of corruption and abuse of power?
We are living in the State of Israel...'medina' includes the word 'nida'. The way I personally see it, we need to purify the vessel that offers us a transition from statehood to that of a Holy Nation. This includes public enquiries to purge us from corrupt figures. It also includes maintaining law & order in our Land which is given to us through the ultimate law of our Torah. There are thousands of religeous Jews serving Am Yisroel in the police & Magav, who are equally disgusted at animalistic behaviour against other Jews. Try catching a minion at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, you'll probably see many of them there praying before undertaking their duties to protect our people, at risk to their own lives! Would you honestly think they would assist someone trying to disrupt their prayers? Moaz, why the need to group any Jew into a 'fellowship' of evil based on the actions of the wicked? The emblem on my uniform represents a tower valiantly taken during the War of Independence by other Jews struggling to create borders around Israel. Hence, I have an idealistic view of the concept of a border guard. I see a lot of good amongst Jews serving alongside myself, and yes, will agree that I also seek to restore pride for our unit and for Am Yisroel as a whole. Why have we become so low that we can only find unity through demonizing other Jews, be it left, right, the police, politicians, you & I? I'm a passionate religeous zionist and strive to bring a sense of moral pride into our nations' identity, based on our acceptance of Torah values. I pray that more dedicated Jews join us and that we can purify the 'nida' in our state. For the record, I've also done shmira alone in the early hours of the morning for a hill-top settlement. Please G-d the shofar will be heard throughout our Holy Land (uninterrupted), and we will all merit to see the Beit Mikdash soon in our time!
Moaz, Shona Tova & try looking for the good in Am Yisroel even within a police or Magav uniform.

Joe Settler said...

I'm hoping that JerusalemCop who was both a volunteer cop (even I was one many, many years ago), and then became a real cop, pops by and sticks in his 2 cents.

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