Gov't 'Not Serious' About Tackling Jerusalem Riots

Arieh King says total breakdown of law on Mount of Olives due to politicians' flawed worldview.

Shimon Cohen, Ari Yashar,

Vandalism on the Mount of Olives
Vandalism on the Mount of Olives
Arieh King

Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King reported on Saturday night that Arab rioters had again desecrated the Mount of Olives cemetery - the ancient Jewish cemetery thought to be the longest still in use cemetery in the world.

The cemetery has come under frequent attack, with the graves of hassidic leaders among those destroyed as Arab vandals light fires in the cemetery - just Saturday night, Arab vandals burned the tombs of hassidic leaders again and destroyed security cameras.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Sunday, King explained what exactly is to blame for the total lack of enforcement in Jerusalem: "the worldview of the Israeli government." Indeed, police have complained that their "hands are tied" due to orders from above.

The councilman insisted that the security breakdown is caused by "all constituents of the government, including Jewish Home."

"The Minister for Jerusalem Affairs is Minister (Naftali) Bennett. For ten months I haven't heard a single initiative from him to stop the difficult phenomenon we are dealing with every single day," noted King, who lives in Ma'ale Hazeitim, a Jewish neighborhood on the Mount of Olives.

"There's a lot of money that arrives here from foreign countries and foreign organizations, and beyond sound bites from all sorts of ministers no one comes here with a solution," King said about the challenge facing Mount of Olives.

"Stop acting like kindergarten teachers"

King went on to explain his solution for the breakdown of law at the Mount of Olives cemetery: "allow Jerusalem police officers to act like officers and not like kindergarten teachers."

"Instead of dealing with these criminals while they're young and at their first molotov cocktail, the National Security Council of the Prime Minister's Office together with the Internal Security Minister prevents officers and captains from doing what they need to," said King.

He also called for routine law enforcement to be conducted, such as "checking permits, insurance, building crimes, taxes and water (bills). All of these aren't being enforced in eastern Jerusalem. There are stations for selling drugs that everyone knows where they are, even the police, but the police don't do a thing."

Speaking amid the recent spike in terror attacks in Jerusalem dubbed the "silent intifada," King added "today it's clear to everyone that what starts as a drug station spreads to terror. I call for Israeli law to be implemented in Jerusalem."

Along the lines of non-existent enforcement in eastern Jerusalem, King has already revealed there are 40,000 illegal Arab housing units in the capital city, with 800 new units being built illegally every year.

That along with massive controversial building projects for Arab residents and no enforcement of building laws - only 14 illegal Arab units have been destroyed this year - amid a building freeze on Jews are part of a de facto division of Jerusalem, King has warned.

"Where are the police?"

King complained that politicians who have the ability to change the reality on the ground chose not to, and do not even reply to his requests that they act. He noted that the Interior Committee recently toured the area, but the soothing information they received has no bearing on the reality.

"They come for a tour and then starts the PR trip. They show them a well-invested pretty police station, but a station where I have never seen a single officer. They invested tons of money but in reality there's a guard there from a private security company," revealed King. 

Further detailing the situation on the Mount of Olives, King added "there are supposed to be 24 officers on the Mount of Olives, but these officers are taken for every other mission. They aren't on the Mount of Olives. If they were there, the pogroms that happened tonight (Saturday) at the Gur and Afghani (cemetery) plots wouldn't have happened."

Why are the officers not directly confronting the vandals? "Because those are the orders from above," explains King. "They aren't allowed to shoot at the knees of those shooting fireworks. The order is to take cover and hide."

"They have thrown rocks at my home for several days. We identified the one throwing the rocks and where he ran to. I contacted Yassam (police special forces) and showed him to them on my roof at a distance of 80 meters from my house. I asked the commander 'arrest him.' The answer was: 'go to the police tomorrow and submit a complaint.'"

King explains some of the politics behind police inaction, noting that Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Jerusalem Municipality director have said the police are doing "faithful work" and there are no conflicts between the Municipality and the police, hushing up the "silent intifada."

"The mayor changed directions two weeks ago, because he understood that what I argued against the (Interior Security) Minister (Yitzhak Aharonovich) is true, and also it seems to be because the Jerusalem district (police) commander changed," said King.

The councilman says on Sunday morning he asked Barkat to request that the Knesset establish an investigative committee to look into the Arab terrorism in Jerusalem.

Likewise King on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. intends to hold a prayer rally at the gravesite of the Admor of Gur hassidic leader "so the public can see what is happening on the Mount of Olives." And next Wednesday, King will hold a protest in front of Aharonovich's offices, demanding that the interior security minister step down for his inability to stop the "silent intifada."



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