In the wake of the arrest earlier Sunday of 9 Arabs accused of attacking Hareidi youths during the Jerusalem snowstorm several weeks ago, United Torah Jewry MK Yisrael Eichler declared that only a strong Israeli effort would prevent future attacks. “Deterrence is the best defense,” Eichler declared from the Knesset podium, thanking Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich for making the investigation a priority.
He also expressed hope that the culprits would receive swift and harsh punishment. “The honor of Jews going to and from the Kotel cannot be compromised. Deterring the behavior of attackers will ensure that these attacks do not take place,” Eichler said.
Several weeks ago, as a snowstorm blanketed Jerusalem, two Hareidi students on their way back from praying at the Kotel were attacked by a gang of dozens of Arab youths. Video of the attack, taken by the Arab attackers themselves, circulated on the Internet. The video was broadcast on Israeli TV stations as well, sparking outrage among tens of thousands of Israelis.
In the footage, a mob of some 50 Arabs are seen hounding, kicking and throwing snowballs at two young Hareidim who were walking down the street. The Arabs also tried to grab the hats of the two Hareidim. The two, meanwhile, do nothing but raise their hands to defend themselves. After some minutes, the Arabs eventually leave the Hareidim alone and go their way. Interviewed later, the Hareidim said that they were uninjured, but felt violated and ashamed at being the victims of such an attack.
Last week, Eichler filed a complaint with police about the attack, after police said they were not pursuing the case because no complaint had been filed. Several days after Eichler filed the complaint, police arrested suspected members of the gang.