Saturday, March 6

And the police were just laughing

Some 300 people, both Palestinian and Jews, marched from the Clock Tower square in Jaffa to the Yiftah police office on Salameh Street, protesting against thelatest wave of police violence.

Among the speakers were Jerrias Kobti, who was violently arrested by the police some three weeks ago,  Gabi ElAbed of the AlRabita (the Association of the Arabs of Jaffa), Omar Siksik, municipal council member of the Jaffa List, Yoav Goldring, municipal council member for "A City for All" (Ir lekulanu), MK Dov Khenin and Sheikh Ahmad Abu Agua of the northern Islamic movement, who spoke in Arabic and in Hebrew against police violence as we have been experiencing over the last several weeks. 

The demonstration was  peaceful , people marching together, shouting slogans in Arabic and Hebrew demanding an investigation. a change of policy and a respect for democracy.
Severa l policemen, among them Ohion, the Yiftach commander, were laughing. One wonders why. The recent reports of serious violence towards citizens should worry him deeply.
Jerrias Kobti gave a short report of what had happened to him in the police station after he had been arrested and handcuffed. His testimony is  terrifying. The violence he went through could happen to any of us. And that should worry us all. And it should worry Ohion as well. A police corps that resorts to violence as a regular method, is in deep trouble.

There is little belief in "Mahash" (המחלקה לחיקרת שוטרים the unit that is supposed to investigate crimes committed by policemen) and distinct feelings of anger and despair were expressed by some of the speakers and many in the audience. 
Few of us here have never witnessed or experienced incidents with the police. Many of us feel helpless face a face police violence. Some are so scared of revenge, they will not complain nor testify against abusive police officers.

One wonder why Ohion was laughing so much.


Lirun said...

i think laughing is a stretch.. i saw an officer with a smug smile on.. it was distasteful and provocative.. and needless to say quite childish but he wasnt actually laughing..

i appreciated the fact that the arab demonstration coordinators acknowledged the support of their jewish neighbours who attended the rally.. but i was concerned that the message in hebrew was so different to the messages in arabic..

radically different.. many were a direct translation but a stack of them were purposely only given in one language..

i think it degraded from the quality of the demonstration and it diminished the value of the cause..

having said that - im still glad i attended.. i think the message is important..

i do wish however that the organisers - rather than just complaining about brutality - could recognise that there are severe internal community problems and call upon the state to assist to resolve these.. taking part of the responsibility rather than just throwing everything at the police (who surely can do a better job)..

any progressive community is going to understand that this needs to be a partnership.. both sides will need to step up to the plate..

its not a one sided situation..

you yourself have often written about the lack of cooperation with the authorities when tragedy strikes the streets..

the poorer echelons of yaffo certainly deserve better.. but they need to help too.. we all need to.. particularly the arab community.. it is integral to the pulse of this village.. we need it to remain healthy and strong..

there is a lot of work to do.. and it is great to call different factions to task.. but we mustnt forget that we are each responsible for this situation..

lars shalom said...

hi found you

Lirun said...

thats it? nothing more to say?

yudit said...

no run out of memory space... for each addition i have to delete something else.