Saturday, January 13

Policing the police?

They're at it again. Every single saturday Jaffa's Yefet street fills up with policemen and municipal supervisors. Saturday is the busiest day on Yefet. All shops and restaurants are open, doing brisk business with people coming in from Bat Yam, Tel Aviv and beyond, where stores are closed due to the shabat. It is the most important business day of the week for many of the small store owners, who wouldn't survive without it.
There are not many public parking lots along the street and in most areas parking is not allowed, which makes it difficult for customers.
Throughout the week there are no policemen along the street (except for the border police jeeps, that is), however, on shabat they come out in full. Anyone who stops, even to let out a passenger who has difficulties walking, is immediately told to move it. The life of the small store owners is made impossible. What stends out is that this only happens on Shabat, during the rest of the week they are not to be seen.
Yet on shabat, EVERY shabat they are there, hampering businesslife. Making a nuisance of themselves.

Funny enough, they are not there when needed, then they run off.

Thus, 5 men accused of murdering a fish monger's friend are about to be released this coming week. Why? Because the life of a police informer might be endangered if his details will be disclosed in the course of the judicial dealings in court. Obviously a person's life is not something to be dealt with lightly.

However, the story on the street is, that this informer is responsible for the murder of Adham, the young man killed during the Eid ElAdha parade. The story is that the police are protecting him. I obviously do not know if that is true. But that's what people believe in Jaffa.

Last night someone poured oil in Mendes France street. He was seen by a police car passing by. The car didn't stop and the pouring of the oil continued. It makes the street dangerous, so people won't enter. The police could have stopped it, but didn't. Why? Who gains form making the street inaccessible? Why does the police cooperate?

That is why the police is suspect.

Who is served by policing Yefet in order to hand out parking tickets and make business life impossible?
Why is the murderer of Adham still walking around free?


Anonymous said...

you say that the five men accused of murder are being released to protect the life of the informer, but if you had read the newspapers more carefully, you would be aware that it is not just the identity of a police informer that the court had ordered be revealed - but also the identities of two innocent, unrelated witnesses to the murder.

Is word on the street that the two innocent, unrelated witnesses are also being protected for being murderers?

Maybe the police actually has people's welfare in mind, as well as wishing to continue to fight crime (not only in Yaffo but everywhere), by collecting intelligence about murderers. Revealing the identities of informers and endangered witnesses will mean no one will ever dare talk to the police again. How would you feel about that if it were your loved ones lying on the slab in Abu Kabir?

Why do you think innocent witnesses are afraid to testify openly in Yaffo? Maybe it's because people like you, who really don't know what you're talking about, intefer with regular police work in Yaffo.

What you don't bother to point out is that Yefet is a very narrow road, unsuitable for the amounts of traffic it serves. Anyone stopping a car on it immediately holds up traffic. If someone parks there it becomes impossible. Of course it needs policing on a day of heavier traffic. Good for the police and the municipality for rising to the challenge, putting themselves in real physical danger, instead of steering clear.

yudit said...

I guess that's what you get when you actually believe what the papers say. Ofcourse when you bother to actualy read those parts of the court protocols made public, talk to the lawyers AND to the people on the street (including family victim's members) that is, one does serious research, the picture becomes more complicated. And that is what i tried to portray.
And anonymous, who ONLY gets his or her info "from careful reading of the newspapers" (or so it appears, from what she or he writes) accuse me of interfering (how? with my virtual pen?) with the police.

Moreover, anonymous it/him/herself doesn't bother to read what i write, as i explicitly state a human life to be of extreme value. Including that of an informer.
the story on the streets may well be wrong. So may the story in the papers.
The point is,the story believed by many people in Jaffa (as i point out, and this is to the best of my knowledge NOT in the papers, but i admit, i only read Ha'Aretz, not the other two, whose online versions i follow occasionally)is that the same police informaer is involved in the death of Adham.
I have no way of knowing, as i point out, if this is true.

The police work in strange ways in Jaffa, serving hte interest of certain parts of the polulation more than others, or so it appears.
I live here, and i am VERY critical and try to be careful in my posting.

However i am not naive.

Anonymous accuses me of interfering. Well how? By being not as naive as they'd like me to be? By talking to people? Researching? By not taking the papers' for granted. If that is interfering, then i am proud of it.

And ofcourse as to policing Yefet, once more anonyumous doesn't bother to read what i say: Yefet is policed ONLY on saturdays.
Not on any other days, that's the point.

J.P. said...

Sometimes things look totally different from another direction.
Govermental organisations like police and municipallity do have different payment related to the time of the day one works.
Of course the percentage is different in each other country, but while on night shift one earns more than at the daytime, the same for religious days.
To show how incredible usefull I am I too would go to Yefet and chase away sitting ducks, oh sorry I meant customers.

Lirun said...

i agree that the resources need to be better spread out.. bt i also dont like yeffet street blocked with double parking just because people crave a bagel with zaatar.. i dont think there is any problem with people finding street parking in yaffo and walking through its beautiful streets for a minute rather than treating these shops like drive-by mcdonalds.. which they are not designed to be..

just my view..

yudit said...

No one likes Yefet blocked. The point i am trying to make is that the situation is complex and that there are conflicts of interest.
However, it appears the local residents of Ajami stand a bigger chance of being at the downside of the conflict.
Good traffic management and public parkings for one.
However the police problem in Jaffa is more serious.
In my post "hear nothing see nothing" etc. as well as other posts i have tried to pinpoint the lack of belief in the police, the lack of trust.
There are historical reasons for this lack of trust, but now that it exists it is very difficult to get around it.
Many people have been harassed by the police over the years.
There IS a crime problem in Jaffa.
I do , as i pointed out, not know if the story about the police informer being responsible or involved in the murder of Adham is right or not.
I think however, EVEN if it is not right, when a significant amount of Ajami people believe it to be right, it points at a major problem.
More or less a year ago, we tried to set up a meeting between the police and the residents as a first step in trying to understand and talk. Guess who didn't come?
Right, the police. They said they would, but there we were. Waiting.

By we i mean some 20 -30 people of different ages, all of us from Jaffa, and interested in opening a dialogue. Not hotheads. Some of the neighborhood council were there.

Because the police didn't come, people started to share their experiences with the police. It was shocking and frankly scary.

Since then i have been following the situation, researching it, taLking to people and thinnking about it.
I also started to read theoretical materials about policing, guarding, social contracts and conflicts of interests.
I do not presume to understand it all, but rather try to open my eyes, ask questions, and the deeper i dive, the less the answers appear to be relevant.
By trying to solve one problem at a certain point, usually the REAL problem is transferred to another area.

It's not that i have the solution at hand, becuase it is not a one track thing.
As this is not a discourse on radical model of criminology (who defines what is a crime, why and how?), i'm at this point no going deeper into it (on this little forum, that is)

J.P. said...

There is a question which has bothered me for some time, there is this fright to enlist people with a Muslim background into the army.
What is the compound of the police force because to me reactions will go faster and will be better if there is the right person in the right position.

What's in coincidence, the first three letters of the word verification read pig.

ee said...

How is Abed?

Lirun said...


i have had aweful experiences with the police myself.. very disappointing.. but at the same time.. i dont know how some of these people get by doing the work they are tasked to do on the wages they are given..

this problem is well known world wide..

i agree there is probably a serious problem and it probably involves the community as well as the police.. and i dont know that we can expect the police to lead the high road..

nice effort though..

כל הכבוד
for trying

Anonymous said...

Police are not paid extra for weekends. They are paid a global (meager) salary regardless of how many hours they put in, and how many of these are nights, weekends and holidays.