"911 is a Joke in Yo Town"

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

The Israeli Police are a complete disaster. This should come as no surprise to anyone. Whether its the amazing incompetence displayed by their incredible failure to prevent the recent stabbing attack at the gay parade or their criminal negligence in not being able to defend the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives. Of course lets not forget their constant inability to stop rock and firebomb attacks throughout the country. The Temple Mount situation of Jews being harassed and attacked endlessly. There are so many examples of piss-poor performance by the Israeli Police. 

And the courts ain't much better. They seem to find a way to screw up most everything in their quest to do the exact opposite of the majority of the people's will. I mean, for goodness sake, they want to destroy a Synagogue in Givat Ze'ev that's been in use for 20 years!!! This probably wouldn't even be allowed in Iran. But for the courts in Israel, this is just another day of "justice". This is without to even wade into the current horribly unjust practice of allowing teenagers to be kidnapped by "security forces" for long periods of time without any criminal charges whatsoever being filed. 

With all that said, it appears to me that there is not much to be done by the average person in order to improve the police and courts. I have no doubt that Ministers Ayelet Shaked and Gilad Erdan would like to implement reforms, but progress in that direction is quite slow, putting it mildly. (Although I certainly question the sanity of those who continue to interact socially and religiously with those members of the courts and police responsible for all these disasters. I myself would not even give them the time of day, much less count them in a minyan or attend a simcha with them.)

What can be done? 
 
Strong public pressure should be brought on elected officials to force the police to act in situations that require little amounts of competence:

Evictions - Many court decisions have already been handed-down (to the great dismay of those same courts) to evict arab squatters from Jewish-owned properties - most notably in the Old City of Jerusalem, but also in "Silwan", Mount of Olives, Shimon HaTzadik and many other very strategic and religiously/historically places. 

Protection of Public Space - Numerous public spaces have been commandeered by arabs for nationalistic and personal motives. The most glaring would be the completely illegal metal obstruction at the Kotel HaKatan:

But also around the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood, Ir Dovid, and numerous other places (example: illegal car dealership on public space in French Hill: /News/News.aspx/180913#.VdRn_PlViko). (Here's an example of a recent success near the Temple Mount: http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=767067)

The Knesset, local governments and private individuals could also do the following:

Building Plans - Building in places like Kidmat Tzion, Givat Ze'ev, Beit El, Shiloh, Beit Hanina and so many other places are the best currently possible responses to the attacks coming from the courts and the arabs living near those areas. Many of these projects need political approvals and PRIVATE FINANCING!!! 

Renovations and Development - So many properties already owned and inhabited by Jews are in need of repair and/or improvement. In some cases, more families would be able to move in and increase the Jewish population in the area. The Israeli Government has recently approved the construction of mikvaot (ritual baths) in some very strategic neighborhoods in Jerusalem (/News/News.aspx/180913#.VdRn_PlViko). This work as already started and will definitely strengthen the Jewish Presence! 

In short, there is so much that can be done. Depending on the police and the courts to act on their own is not a realistic option. We must be proactive! 

Focusing our energy and resources on criticizing incompetence is not efficient and won't change anything. It will take time to fix the disasters that are the Israeli Police and "judicial" system. In the meantime, "Rabbi Tarfon would say: The day is short, the work is much, the workers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master is pressing." (Pirkei Avos 2:15)

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem

www.heritagehouse.org.il

www.youngjewishconservatives.org