Matar: Police Not Headed in Right Direction

Women in Green asks the State Comptroller to block the appointment of Mickey Levy to Deputy Police Chief, on grounds that he perjured himself.

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Hillel Fendel ,

Nadia Matar, co-chair and founder of the nationalist grassroots organization Women in Green, recalls a demonstration she organized 13 years ago protesting the Oslo Accords - and in which she was brutally arrested by then-Deputy Jerusalem District Commander Mickey Levy. Levy accused her of attacking him, but when a film of the event was later produced showing the opposite, the charges against her were abruptly withdrawn.

Matar now asks that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss block the expected appointment of Levy as Israel's new Deputy Police Commander. In a letter to Lindenstrauss, Matar asks that he investigate Levy's past, noting that Levy "faced a disciplinary trial in the Bureau for Investigations Against Policemen for perjury - but was strangely acquitted [despite the film]."

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In her letter to Comptroller Lindenstrauss, Matar writes, "Public Security Minister Avi Dichter says that the new appointments [to the police force, following the resignation of Commissioner Moshe Karadi and firing of two others after a corruption investigation] will lead the police along a new path. Given Levy's behavior and the cover-up by the police organs of his criminal acts, I ask you: Aren't these new appointments actually a continuation of the old corrupt ways? If the police truly want to clean up and start fresh, a man like Mickey Levy cannot be appointed to such a high position."

The incident in question occurred in 1994 outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Hearings were being held there regarding the killing of 29 Arabs by Baruch Goldstein, and possibly others, in the Machpelah Cave several weeks earlier. Several Women in Green members - fewer than the 49 that would have required a special police permit - gathered to protest the fact that Arab deaths were being investigated, but not Jewish ones.

"Since the Oslo Process began [six months ago]," Matar called out to the small crowd, "33 Israelis have been murdered - yet no one is answering our call to investigate why." She then began to read aloud the names of the murdered, when suddenly she was beset upon by Commander Levy and other policemen. The video shows that she attacked no one, but that Levy and other policemen pulled and shoved her brutally; a woman in the crowd is heard crying out, "Are you sick, hitting women like that!"

Matar later told Arutz-7 that this was Women in Green's first encounter with the police: "We had just been founded several months earlier, and we had weekly rallies - but we didn't seem to get any media attention. Then we realized that if the media didn’t come to us, we would go to them. So when the Goldstein investigation happened, with all the attention it gathered, we moved our protest to there as well - and that's why Channel Two was able to film what happened to us."

"The police were determined to disperse the rally," Matar said, "even though a license is only required for a protest of 49 people or more... Soon, a police van pulled up, and out jumped Mickey Levy. He attacked me, and violently dragged me to the van. My mother-in-law, too [Women in Green co-founder Ruth Matar], was stricken, and fainted from the attack... I was later charged with physically assaulting a police officer, with Levy lying and claiming in court that I had hit him. Fortunately, a Channel Two news crew was on hand at the demonstration and we were able to get the video that clearly showed Levy's violent treatment of me."

Nadia's trial on charges of "assaulting a police officer" soon got underway, but two years later, in March 1996, just as her defense was to begin, the Police Department and the prosecutor's office suddenly decided to withdraw the charges against her. She expressed disappointment at the time, saying that she would now be unable to prove that she herself was attacked by Levy.

Several months later, however, then-Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein recommended that Levy face police disciplinary charges - of which he was later "strangely acquitted," Matar writes, despite the movie clip.





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