Arab guards attack Jew, police interrogate the victim instead of the perpetrators

This is not the first time police have questioned the Jewish victim under caution instead of the Arab assailants.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A Jew who was beaten during Jerusalem Day festivities last month by Arabs and filed a complaint with the police was questioned on suspicion of attacking them instead, Israel National News reported Sunday.

The man, who had come to the capital’s Independence Park to celebrate the day the capital was unified during 1967’s Six Day War, was severely beaten by five or six Arab guards, said lawyer Ofir Steiner of Honenu, an NGO that offers legal assistance to Israeli Jews experiencing difficulty in receiving a fair judicial process after clashing with Arabs.

Guards had told him to leave an area of the park where a performance was being given, and he obeyed, explained Steiner in a letter to the police. The man then saw a group of guards running towards something and followed “from a distance,” Steiner emphasized, out of curiosity. One of the men grabbed him and then they all started punching him violently while shouting “Kill the Jew!” in Arabic.

The man tried to escape, to no avail, and was only saved when two Border Police officers arrived and had to physically break into the fight in order to release the victim from his assailants’ grip.

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In the letter complaining of the authorities’ conduct, Steiner wrote that instead of arresting and questioning the Arab attackers after the man complained against them, the police subsequently interrogated the victim under warning. The Arabs had lied to the police, saying that he had attacked the whole group of them when they refused him entry several times, and they had had to respond to his violence.

“The version of the attackers has no basis or hold in reality,” Steiner charged, noting that the incident had not taken place anywhere near the complex where the event was being held, and flies in the face of the evidence the police already had in hand.

Their story, he continued, was only concocted “to cover up a racially motivated violent attack, by posing the investigation as if it were a case of one person’s word against another, or some kind of mutual altercation.”

“It is expected that the Israeli Police will compare the attackers’ far-fetched version with the rest of the evidence in the case and the victim’s version… complete the investigation of the violent attackers, and make sure that they will indeed be brought to justice for their actions,” Steiner added.

This is not the first time that Honenu has charged the police with blaming the Jewish victim of a nationalist Arab attack.

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In January 2022, an Arab brutally assaulted a young Jewish man in the middle of Jerusalem, continuing to beat him even after he fell to the ground. When the police arrived, they arrested the victim while he was bleeding, and interrogated him under warning.

In May of that year, also in Jerusalem, an Arab deliberately hit a yeshiva student’s car, and then he yanked open the Jew’s door and started punching him, smashing his glasses. When the student went to the police station to file a complaint as the officers on the scene had recommended, he found himself being questioned under caution, fingerprinted and photographed.

In both cases the police responded to Honenu lawyers’ complaints by saying that the cases were “under investigation.”

Last June, a high school group was attacked in Lod by a mob of Arabs throwing rocks and the police had to escort the group to safety. Their tour guide was then arrested in the middle of that night and interrogated for several hours before being released under restrictive conditions, outraging Religious Zionism party head MK Bezalel Smotrich.

“Something very bad is happening to the Israel Police,” he said. “Again and again we hear how Jewish victims of crime are portrayed as those guilty of the offenses, in order to obtain artificial calm which will eventually explode in our faces.”