'Police Didn't Help' After Rock Attack in J'lem

Special interview: Jeff Seidel recounts harrowing attack by 15-25 Arabs youths on Mount of Olives, is told he is 'lucky to be alive.'

Tova Dvorin,

Cinderblocks in Seidel's car
Cinderblocks in Seidel's car
Jeff Seidel

Jeff Seidel is still reeling from a harrowing rock attack on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives, he stated in a special interview to Arutz Sheva Wednesday night, after Arab terrorists hurled cinder blocks at his car. 

Seidel, who is the CEO and Founder of the Jeff Seidel Student Center, and two friends were attending a funeral on the Mount for the wife of a friend when they were approached by the Arab terrorists. He mentioned that other attendees had told him that the police were aware of the funeral and were supposed to be patrolling the Mount of Olives, with the knowledge that a certain amount of cars were to come into the area and to be on alert. 

This apparently never happened. 

"I did not see one police patroller," Seidel said.

"We went past Beit Orot and then made a right turn toward Har HaZeitim [Mount of Olives, Hebrew - ed.]," he recounted. "That's when Arabs started kicking my car." 

"There were a lot of youths," he said, "maybe 15, 25 people were there, circling our car. That got exciting for them, and they started throwing cinder blocks - blocks, not rocks. Blocks. They broke basically all the windows except the front one, the windshield." 

Seidel, who was with two passengers - Nahal Hareidi Brigade advisor Yochanan Danzinger and another passenger - expressed outrage at the lack of help they received from the Israel Police. 

"We did call the police - two other passengers in the back called the police - and they hung up, and nothing happened, no one ever showed up," he stated. "It was all cars, bumper to bumper." 

Seidel attempted to escape by directing the car into a nearby parking lot of a local hospital, but without luck. 

"I see an opening in the lane next to me, which is going back in the other direction, back to Beit Orot, so I all of a sudden made a U-Turn," he said. "I asked one of the older Arabs - they were all standing around watching - I asked one of the Arabs, 'can I please go into the hospital?'. There was a hospital there, they had a parking lot, a locked-up parking lot, [which would have been a] 'safe haven', in a sense - I don't want to say the word 'gangsters' - but from a bunch of kids throwing rocks and boulders at you." 

"The cars would not move to let me in to the hospital, and the Arabs would also not let me go in," he said, incredulous. He noted that Arabs use Israeli hospitals in Jewish areas of Jerusalem all the time, and expressed outrage that the benefits and services are apparently not reciprocal. 

Seidel did note, however, that an "older Arab" did step in during the attack and told the youths to step away from the car. 

"You're lucky you're alive"

Seidel kept driving, through a hailstorm of rocks, and managed to make a left turn out at the end of the block. He reached a police station near Beit Orot, where he met another car - two young soldiers who were unarmed - who were reporting a similar attack. Their back windshield was shattered. 

Several more cars going to the same funeral also suffered rock attacks, he added. 

Ultimately, he said, "there was over 4,000 shekels of damage to my car." He added that a number of Arabs in the area stood on the street, watching the scene and "laughing and joking about it."  Danzinger suffered a scratched cornea from the attack, and was treated in hospital. 

Seidel stated that he is still "in shock" after the attack.

"I had no idea, I didn't realize this [until later], that they could have just grabbed me from the car and begun beating me up," he said. "I'm still not comprehending how bad it was." 

"When I took my car into the Mazda dealer for repairs, the dealer looked at me and said, 'You're lucky you're alive."

"It's sad that you cannot drive through Jerusalem or parts of Israel - and I was going to a funeral!" he added. "I wasn't 'making a statement,' there was no Israeli flag on my car in that sense." 

Seidel tied the attack to the murder of two New York policemen earlier this week, noting that, in his view, Israel needs someone like former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to "clean up" Jerusalem. 

He added that he would be willing to help "however he could" to make Jerusalem safer. 

In the meantime, he said, the police have not been helpful, and have not contacted him.

"When I brought my car to the Jewish Quarter, the police were not helpful at all," he said. The police told him to park the car near the shomer (guard) in the Jewish Quarter parking lot. "The cops came and gave me a hard time and I had to move my car."

Despite the experience, Seidel said he would drive there again. 

"I will definitely be a little more shaken up, a little more cautious going there," he said, "but I, personally, am the type of person - even as a young kid - who was involved in high school with Jewish pride and Jewish identity - that will not back down." 



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