Brutality on the Rise

First it was Iyad Halak in Jerusalem. Then it was George Floyd in the USA. Now it was Member of Knesset Yehuda Glick who was severely beaten by Palestinians as he left the Halak home where he went to offer his condolences for the police murder of the family’s autistic son, Iyad.

And today another police killing in California of a 22 year old man. He had a hammer in his shirt pocket which police mistook for a gun. They fired five bullets killing the young man. When will these tragedies end?

Honestly, the police almost everywhere seem to be out of control. They should be required to take classes in sensitivity once every year. Police brutality is on the rise and must be stopped at once !

Over many past years the public respected police officers. They knew that they could be protected.

All that has changed now in this era. Most people have lost respect for gun-happy policemen.

I believe that every prospect for a position in a police department should be required to undergo a psychiatric examination prior to being allowed entry into police service. It may not be 100% efficient but it would be significant in weeding out many of those men and women unfit to carry a gun.

Today, our respected president Rivlin issued a statement that discussions should be free to continue but without the verbal abuse which only incites to physical abuse.

Member of Knesset Yehuda Glick, an orthodox Jew, made a condolence visit to the Muslim Halak family, grieving and mourning for the inhuman police murder of their son Iyad. Glick came with the best intentions to offer his sympathy for the tragic murder by Israeli police. Seven bullets ended Iyad’s life.

But as Glick was leaving the family home in east Jerusalem he was pounced upon and badly beaten by a group of Palestinians. Why? Why? He came with the best intentions of a Jew who felt the pain, as a father, of the Halak family.

The attackers had to know that he was a member of the Knesset who came for warm good reasons to comfort a suffering Arab family. Why then, for what good reason, did he have to be so brutally attacked? He was rushed by ambulance to a nearby Jerusalem hospital and we wish him a refuah shelemah… a complete healing and recovery.

On a previous visit to the family by our Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, he understood their pain and suffering.

He came, not only as the Chief Rabbi but also as a human being, a father, a Jew who treasures life over death.

There were not as many protesters marching at Iyad’s funeral as there were marches across America in memory of George Lloyd but, nevertheless, most Israeli Jews expressed their horror and indignation at Iyad Halak’s death by trigger-happy policemen who, in my opinion, should be dismissed from police ranks.

Brutality is on the rise everywhere. Like a blazing fire, it is difficult to extinguish. Who will be its next victim and why?

Our government has been so out of focus with reality and remains in that condition even now, what can we expect from our police forces? Amir Ohana is not a good example to set for good police relations.

A failed minister of justice, a Netanyahu puppet, a gay man highly critical of the police, has done more injustice than justice. Another very sad tale in our political trap.

Brutality is on the rise everywhere, yes. But it need not and should not be on a rise in Israel.

Our Torah laws teach us humanity and respect. Sadly, neither of those qualities is very visible today.

The ancient prophets of Israel preached : “tzedek tzedek tirdof” … Justice Justice shalt thou pursue. Why is the word “tzedek” mentioned twice?

Our rabbis have taught us that one “tzedek” is for justice and the other “tzedek” is for righteousness.

Where and why and how have we lost our way?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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