On a visit to the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Lod at a time when the tensions were still running high following Operation Guardian of the Walls, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai came out with the astonishing statement that, “There are terrorists on both sides of the conflict.”
Now, the members of Lod’s Torah-core community maintain that the impact of this statement is still being felt as police order Jews who legally hold weapons to deposit them at the local police station “until further notice.”
Amihai Langfeld, a member of the Lod municipal council, was recently invited to give testimony at the local police station, and said that he won’t be surprised if he, too, is told to deposit his weapon with the police.
“We already know that the police aim to take our weapons away,” he told Arutz Sheva. “And meanwhile, there are lots of illegal weapons in the wrong hands in Lod, and we’ve never seen the police doing anything about it. It’s in the interest of the state to have legal weapons here, but the police are going after regular law-abiding citizens. It’s incomprehensible.”
Langfeld expressed his frustration with what he sees happening all around him. “We feel betrayed,” he said. “We contribute to the state and do whatever we can for the good of the city. And yet the police regard us as enemies.”
According to him, there are two official bodies who are behind this way of thinking. “There’s the police commissioner, who failed during the riots and even while they were still raging, made that terrible comment saying that there were ‘terrorists on both sides.’ So that created a certain atmosphere. And then there’s the Ministry of Internal Security which establishes the official policy. And confiscating weapons is a policy decision.”
He concluded by saying that, “Of course we can walk around Lod unarmed, but at critical times such as during the riots, being armed really added to our sense of security. And today in Lod, no one knows if tomorrow will bring another round of conflict like we saw then.”
Commenting on Langfeld’s words, Otzma Yehudit head MK Itamar Ben Gvir said, “We have reached the height of the absurd with this failed, ineffective police force. The police failed to protect the residents of Lod and now they want to take away their last line of defense, instead of focusing on the tens of thousands of illegal weapons in the city. The police commissioner is responsible for the failures — he should resign and go home, before his failed leadership leads to loss of life here.”