The police response to the murder of a Jewish man in Ramle this week has been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back to many, and has led to charges that top-ranking commanders are covering up a wave of terrorist assaults.
The first case to raise suspicion began last year, when Rabbi Moshe Talbi of Hispin was found shot to death in his car in Samaria. Police spokespeople had proclaimed the death a suicide within 15 minutes of finding the body. Later evidence pointed to terrorism.
In September, police attributed the death of Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan to careless driving, admitting only after an Arutz Sheva expose that the young father and son were murdered by terrorists.
In early February, a group of Arab men beat two soldiers in Haifa in a vicious attack that Judge Ziyad Falah compared to the infamous lynch of two soldiers in Ramallah. A relative of one victim reported that the Arabs asked, “Are you Jewish?” before attacking the two.
However, police have declared that the attack was not motivated by Arab nationalism, but instead resulted from a case of mistaken identity.
This week George Sado was walking his dog in Ramle when he was shot and murdered by a group of local Arab teens. A neighbor who found Sado before he died reported that Sado said his attackers had told him they had shot “because of what you are doing in Gaza.” Again, police have refused to categorize the attack as a terrorist incident.
Why would police cover up terrorism? One theory is that they believe doing so will help maintain the peace. Mixed Jewish-Arab cities have erupted in violence in the past, and police may fear that reports of Israeli Arabs carrying out terrorist attacks could lead to riots.
A more cynical explanation is that police hope to boost their success rate on fighting terrorism by redefining Arab assaults on Jews as regular criminal incidents.