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Father & Daughter Nearly Lynched in Wadi Joz

Yitzchak Levi says he and his infant daughter were nearly killed by an Arab mob while driving through Jerusalem – and police didn't care.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/22/2010, 10:26 AM / Last Update: 3/22/2010, 10:38 AM

Flash 90

Yitzchak Levi has accused Jerusalem police of apathy in the face of an Arab attack that could have ended in death.

Levi, an artist who was one of the designers of the parochet (Holy Ark curtain) for the rebuilt Hurva synagogue, says that he, a colleague, and his baby daughter were attacked while driving through a neighborhood in the capital city. He recalled the attack in an interview with Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service.

The incident took place on Friday, after Levi had visited the Hurva. As streets in the Old City were crowded, Levi decided to take a detour through Emek Yehoshafat (Wadi Joz), a primarily Arab neighborhood just north of the Old City's Herod Gate. It “is considered a calm area,” he said.

"Suddenly, about 100 Arab rioters attacked us with a barrage of hundreds of rocks,” he recalled. “The  car was warped by the blows, and then a boulder hit the front windshield and smashed it.”

Levi's 18-month-old daughter was sitting in the back seat of the car, asleep in her carseat. The noise woke her. Fortunately, Levi said, she was only lightly injured, and suffered “just a few scratches.”

"We were afraid they were going to lynch us,” Levi said. “They approached until they were right next to us, which meant the rocks were not thrown so hard, but even so, they smashed all the windows.”

"I felt like they were going to slaughter us,” he added.

Levi managed to escape by screaming for help, which distracted the attackers for several seconds – long enough to allow him to slam on the gas and speed away.

Levi managed to reach police stationed nearby. There, he said, he was shocked at the officers' indifference. “The police were totally calm, as if this were a normal event... They were apathetic when they saw us,” he accused.

"I took my daughter out to see if she had been hurt, and out of dozens of officers just one came over and said, 'Did something happen to the girl?' in an apathetic tone,” he continued. “I told him to look at what had happened to us, so he would wake up. They saw the car but didn't do anything.”

"Apparently they think it's reasonable for Jews to be pelted with stones...” he concluded in frustration.

The police suggested that he drive to a police station in a nearby Arab neighborhood to file a complaint. Levi, who feared another attack if he were to drive into an Arab neighborhood again, decided to file a complaint in the station in the Russian Compound instead.

Emek Yehoshafat,  the Valley of Jehoshafat, is where the nations will be brought for judgment, according to  the Prophet Yoel(Joel), chap 4. It is incorrectly called Wadi Joz by the Arabs who mispronounced the name and shortened it. Located between Mount Scopus and the Herod Gate in the Old City walls, it is the site of the Rockefeller Museum of Antiquities and a center for car repairs. It is normally considered a safe neighborhood, but this could be a sign of things to come, Levi warned. “Wadi Joz is a place where people used to go to fix their cars, to chat... and yet this happened there. People shouldn't be surprised if tomorrow this happens in other 'calm' places,” he said.