About a week ago an Israeli Arab supermarket worker was beaten by Border Police officers in civilian clothes outside his place of work. They demanded that he identify himself and when he asked them who they were and asked to see their badges of identification that they were policemen, they started hitting him, brutally. Then, according to eyewitnesses, the officers pushed him into a police van (instead of an ambulance, since he was hurt) and drove off from there.
It’s a horrible act from the police but unfortunately, it’s not rare. We want to condemn this horrible act and acts of this kind that are probably happening but nobody talks about them. The fact that officers of the law, that are supposed to keep the us safe and protect innocent people, took the law to their own hands. Such a brutal act is disappointing, upsetting and even sickening.
As shown in a survey from 2014, this behavior as brought only 24% of the Jewish and 21% of the Arabs population to believe in the police. Half of the Israeli population, (Jewish and Arabs) distrust the police institution.
An elderly lady that saw this attack asked the officers why they are hitting the man and the officers yelled at her, “Fuck off from here before we finish you as well”. The Israeli public does not accept this kind of behavior, one of the witnesses uploaded a picture of the incident onto Facebook and a lot of the public was furious.
Various comments condemning this behavior came late; from politicians, the worker’s employees, and people on the street. The worker worked at two different jobs in order to save money for academic studying. Funds were raised for him, via crowdfunding, and over NIS 40,000 were donated to him for this cause.
It’s depressing for me to realize that this is ‘my’ police. I’m absolutely sure that violence of police officers toward Arabs is not rare, and the rare thing here is that we actually heard about it – and the only reason we heard about it this time was because the incident happened in the center of Tel Aviv, just a 10 minute walk from my home.
It’s even more upsetting that the police don’t take responsibility and made a statement that the policemen were obliged to use force in order to arrest the suspect, who continued attacking them violently.
It’s very difficult for me to hear people in Israel encourage this behavior of the police. But, there maybe a silver lining here; there is a sane voice out there and people that do care, condemn the police and even make donations in order to help the victim. I can only wish that this voice will get louder and louder.