On Wednesday, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai issued a letter to the residents of Jaffa that may as well have been sent by the mayor of Kishinev to the pogromists back in 1905. Here are the first three paragraphs, and it should be clear that Hizzoner may be addressing all the residents of Jaffa, but don’t let this fool you, he means Arabs:
Dear Jaffa residents,
Recently, the police have employed enhanced forces in the city. Alongside the important and crucial law enforcement that many residents of Jaffa – Arabs and Jews – yearn for, there have been more than a few cases of extreme and exaggerated police enforcement that harmed innocent citizens.
I wish to clarify to each and every one of you that as Mayor of this city I object to any exaggerated exercise of force against the residents of our city.
As I write this, it is important to me that you understand that I say these same words in a clear voice to the police district commander, and share with him the reality on the ground as I’m hearing it from you.
Also this week, Rabbi Ezra Heiman, a manager of the Gar’in Torani and yeshiva in Jaffa, told a Wednesday emergency Knesset hearing: “We have been through hundreds of anti-Semitic acts in recent months and no indictment has been filed.”
Rabbi Heiman quoted some of the dozens of messages he received from Jewish residents in Jaffa who had suffered anti-Semitic attacks, reciting catcalls they heard from Arabs such as “It’s a pity they didn’t finish you in the Holocaust,” “We will slaughter you,” “The blood of the Jews will wash the streets of Jaffa,” and dozens of other horrific cries as well as praises to Hitler.
“It doesn’t just end with curses and threats, but dozens of incidents of physical attacks, beatings, gas spraying, and more,” Heiman told the hearing. “All the victims bore Jewish-identified characteristics, but so far not a single indictment has been filed. The prosecutor’s office claims that there is no anti-Semitism in Israel.”
The Tel Aviv prosecutor decided this week not to charge with hate crimes Arabs who beat up a Jewish man in Jaffa to within an inch of his life, because, as prosecution attorney Kinneret Kahan put it, “We are bound by evidence. The person who was attacked walked down the street without any Jewish characteristics. If he had walked with a kippah, Haredi clothing, the Israeli flag – the picture would have been completely different and likewise our approach.”
So remember, Jewish boys and girls, when you walk the streets of Jaffa you must carry an Israeli flag, wear a yarmulke, and schlep a heavy volume of the gemorah from which you recite in a yeshivish singsong. Otherwise, anyone who punches your face is just violent, no hate involved.
“When police officers are not allowed to draw weapons against rioters – without a change in the police rules of engagement, nothing will change,” Rabbi Heiman told the Knesset emergency hearing.