Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Rock Ambush Causes New Yorker to Miss Dad's Funeral

Tova Richler flew thousands of miles to her father's burial, but Arabs at Mount of Olives prevented her from attending.
By Benny Toker, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/22/2014, 12:03 PM

Palestinian Arab throws rocks at IDF soldiers
Palestinian Arab throws rocks at IDF soldiers
Flash 90

Tova Richler of New York flew to Israel to attend her father's funeral at the Mount of Olives Friday, but an ambush by local Arabs prevented her from attending it.

Richler, 59, drove to the funeral Friday afternoon in a car with her sister, her brother-in-law and her young nephew, reports Israel Hayom. Near the church of Gethsemane, however, about ten Arab youths ambushed the car and pelted it with rocks and cinderblocks – an action that has become a favorite local Arab pastime in recent years, as Israeli deterrence has weakened.

Richler was in a state of shock following the attack and the car was disabled for a long time. The funeral organizers were left with no choice but to conduct it without Richler and the other relatives who were with her, because the Sabbath was about to begin.

"I never dreamed that my father's funeral would look like this,” she told Israel Hayom. “I came especially from New York, thousands of kilometers away, to take part in it. When the attack upon us began, I was in a state of total shock. I heard shouting, booms and thuds on the car. I have heard sometimes that people were attacked with rocks on the way to the Mount of Olives, but I never thought something like this would happen to me.”

The My Israel movement intends to launch a media campaign this week, to pressure the Jerusalem Police and the Minister of Public Security to improve the security situation in Jerusalem. “The entire region has been completely forfeited and we intend to put pressure on the decision makers,” said movement chair Sarah Haetzni Cohen.

Jerusalem Councillor Yael Antabi told Arutz Sheva that cameras need to be installed wherever violence is rife. She said that cameras placed around the Mount Scopus university campus have helped female students there feel less threatened by the Arabs of Issawiya, but noted that another trouble spot is the Light Rail, where there is daily Arab-Jewish violence that goes unreported.

Hostile Arab residents of the Mount of Olives region have turned the ancient cemetery into a danger zone, and ongoing attempts by Jewish philanthropists and organizers to solve the problem have yet to put an end to the attacks. The matter has been repeatedly discussed in the Knesset, but to no avail, as the attacks continue unabated. Nor was Tova Richler the first victim from New York: a few months back, a hareidi-religious family from New York was seriously attacked by rioting Arabs, as they were making their way to pray on the Mount of Olives. One of the passengers in their rented car was taken to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital with wounds to the head and one of his hands. 

The media's "political correctness" and the infiltration of the judicial and law enforcement establishment by ultra-leftists are seen by many as the main reason for the general loss of deterrence vis-a-vis Arab violence. Faced with a media coverup of the situation and police who are afraid to enter their villages, extremists in the Arab communities gain the upper hand, and stopgap measures like security cameras are of little use.