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Monday, March 22, 2010

Remember this picture?

This picture was taken on September 30, 2000, the Eve of Rosh HaShanna, the Jewish New Year.
On September 30, 2000, The New York Times, Associated Press and other major media outlets published a photo of a young man -- bloodied and battered -- crouching beneath a club-wielding Israeli policeman. The caption identified him as a Palestinian victim of the recent riots -- with the clear implication that the Israeli soldier is the one who beat him.

The victim's true identity was revealed when Dr. Aaron Grossman of Chicago sent the following letter to the Times:
Regarding your picture on page A5 of the Israeli soldier and the Palestinian on the Temple Mount -- that Palestinian is actually my son, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. He, and two of his friends, were pulled from their taxicab while traveling in Jerusalem, by a mob of Palestinian Arabs, and were severely beaten and stabbed.

That picture could not have been taken on the Temple Mount because there are no gas stations on the Temple Mount and certainly none with Hebrew lettering, like the one clearly seen behind the Israeli soldier attempting to protect my son from the mob.
In response, the New York Times published a half-hearted correction which identified Tuvia Grossman as "an American student in Israel" -- not as a Jew who was beaten by Arabs. The "correction" also noted that "Mr. Grossman was wounded" in "Jerusalem's Old City" -- although the beating actually occurred in the Arab neighborhood of Wadi al Joz, not in the Old City.

In response to public outrage at the original error and the inadequate correction, The New York Times reprinted Tuvia Grossman's picture -- this time with the proper caption -- along with a full article detailing his near-lynching at the hands of Palestinians rioters.
You can read Tuvie's account of what happened to him here.

I mention this story because on Friday the same thing nearly happened again in almost the same place (the same neighborhood) to another Jew - this time with an 18-month old daughter. And I haven't seen it reported anywhere other than here.
The incident took place on Friday, after Levi had visited the Hurva. As streets in the Old City were crowded, Levi decided to take a detour through Emek Yehoshafat (Wadi Joz), a primarily Arab neighborhood just north of the Old City's Herod Gate. It “is considered a calm area,” he said.

"Suddenly, about 100 Arab rioters attacked us with a barrage of hundreds of rocks,” he recalled. “The car was warped by the blows, and then a boulder hit the front windshield and smashed it.”

Levi's 18-month-old daughter was sitting in the back seat of the car, asleep in her carseat. The noise woke her. Fortunately, Levi said, she was only lightly injured, and suffered “just a few scratches.”

"We were afraid they were going to lynch us,” Levi said. “They approached until they were right next to us, which meant the rocks were not thrown so hard, but even so, they smashed all the windows.”

"I felt like they were going to slaughter us,” he added.

Levi managed to escape by screaming for help, which distracted the attackers for several seconds – long enough to allow him to slam on the gas and speed away.

Levi managed to reach police stationed nearby. There, he said, he was shocked at the officers' indifference. “The police were totally calm, as if this were a normal event... They were apathetic when they saw us,” he accused.

"I took my daughter out to see if she had been hurt, and out of dozens of officers just one came over and said, 'Did something happen to the girl?' in an apathetic tone,” he continued. “I told him to look at what had happened to us, so he would wake up. They saw the car but didn't do anything.”

"Apparently they think it's reasonable for Jews to be pelted with stones...” he concluded in frustration.

The police suggested that he drive to a police station in a nearby Arab neighborhood to file a complaint. Levi, who feared another attack if he were to drive into an Arab neighborhood again, decided to file a complaint in the station in the Russian Compound instead.
I am going to guess that the first police station they went to was also in an Arab neighborhood. I speak from experience. In 1978, I had my nose broken by a thug in Jerusalem (probably a Jew by the way) near where City Hall is today. When I went to the police station near Jaffa Gate inside the Old City, the police officers had me sit and do nothing for about an hour and a half (from 12:30 - 2:00 am). Then they said we would look for the thugs on the way to the hospital. Of course, by then there was no one to be found. Afterward, people told me that had I run in the other direction, I would have come to Russian compound rather than to a police station staffed by Arabs. Like Tuvie, I was an American yeshiva student at the time. But at least I wasn't in Wadi Joz (which many people use as a short cut to the Old City, especially from Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zev).

Read the whole thing.


At 5:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The incompetence of the Israeli police in dealing with Arab criminality is well known. Jews know about it well enough that no Jew goes into an Arab neighborhood or town inside pre 1967 Israel, if they value their own life. There are just unwritten rules that every one knows about. The rule of law exists only in the minds of the beautiful people who live in Tel Aviv but its an abstraction to every one else in the rest of Israel.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

it was a historical mistake after 1967 to leave hostile Arabs in our Capital, which will hunt us much more in the future.

I fear !

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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