Daily Israel Report

Was Akko Stabbing Covered Up to Appease Arabs?

The mother of a Jewish stabbing victim in Akko accuses authorities of covering up the attack in order to appease local Arabs.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/1/2009, 10:48 PM / Last Update: 11/1/2009, 10:55 PM

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The mother of a young Jewish stabbing victim in Akko believes authorities are keeping the attack quiet in order to appease local Arabs. Speaking from her son's bedside in a hospital in central Israel, where he is in moderate but stable condition, Sari Y. explains that she wants what happened to her child to be made public “so that Jewish blood will not be freely spilled.”

Avoiding violence?
Police and other officials would rather keep the fact that an Arab violently attacked a Jew under wraps, Sari says, in order to avoid an outburst of Jewish-Arab violence. The city of Akko was the site of violent riots just over a year ago following an incident in which an Arab drove into a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur with his radio blaring, and Jews were falsely accused of murdering an Arab driver; since that time, officials have taken pains to ensure that the city regains its reputation for coexistence.

The attack on her 18-year-old son last Thursday has its roots in an incident that took place 18 months earlier, Sari explains. Then, a young Arab man from Akko broke into her family's home and stole her younger son's cell phone.

Stalked, threatenedand stabbed
The family filed a complaint with police – and thus began a months-long ordeal in which they were stalked and threatened by the thief, who demanded that they retract the charges. The family did not file a complaint over the thief's harassment, Sari says, because they knew and trusted his family, who promised to take care of the issue.

But the family did not handle the issue, and the Arab man's harassment continued until finally, he appeared outside the Y. family home late last week and demanded to see Sari's son. When her older son went out to confront him, the thief began stabbing him. Sari and her son believe the attack would have ended in murder were it not for the fact that her son's friends were present, and quickly came to his rescue.

The friends detained the attacker, who was subsequently arrested. However, Sari and her family have yet to hear from police regarding the incident, or the action officials plan to take against the attacker. As Sari waits for her son to recover from his injuries and serious blood loss, she expresses hope that her family's story will serve as a wake-up call to authorities to protect Jewish victims of intimidation and crime.