A haredi couple who were driving through Tel Aviv on Sunday night found themselves in the midst of an anti-judicial reform demonstration. The demonstrators surrounded the car and proceeded to attack them, lynching the husband. Israel National News spoke with the victim's wife about the traumatic incident and the media's silence.
"We were in Tel Aviv. We wanted to go home. We didn't know that there was a protest. There were no police there. We wanted to turn left with another car, and we found ourselves in the middle of the rage," she recalls. "They banged on the car and shouted curses at us. There was no option to drive in reverse, and my husband stopped when he saw that the protesters were blocking the road.
When he stopped, they surrounded us again, banged on the car, and tried to break the windows. The whole time I was screaming so people would see that we were just a lost couple and not someone who wants to cause harm," she states. "My husband said he'll open the door so they won't break the window. We didn't do anything. What do you want? They began beating him up. They got into the back of the car since the back seat was folded down. They beat him, I saw the blood, and he told me, 'take me to the hospital. I can't see out of this eye, and I'm going to faint.' I cried. I asked them to let us go, and they just continued."
She points out that in a video circulated on the internet, one of the protesters can be heard saying, "pull out their motor." "Why? Do you want him to bleed to death? What did we do to you? You already beat him up. And then I begged one of the demonstrators who wanted to come help. He got into the car and told me to dial the police so they could rescue us. I called, but the police said they had no officers at the scene and that I should go to the hospital. Somehow we made it. The police were not involved. Later, they said they would come to file a report, but they didn't.
There were many people around us, and what was so aggravating was that they were all filming. I was hysterical, I put my head down, and every time I picked it up, I saw a million cameras pointed at me, and in the media, you only see us driving. You don't see the violence, even though dozens of cameras captured it.
I'm sure," she says, "that no one thought we were a threat since my husband is haredi, with a kipa and black and white clothes, and I was wearing a wig, screaming. Anyone who saw us could understand that we were lost. No one could be confused. Where are the pictures? They photographed us from every possible direction."
She says that the crowd that surrounded her were adults, and those who attacked her husband were in their 20s and 30s. "I would like the police to tell me who they were. I never thought that I would be lynched by Jews in Tel Aviv. I don't think that anyone would imagine such a thing."
The worst injuries the husband sustained came from a flagpole held by one of the protesters. "They pushed the stick into his face. He has a deep cut on his cheek. He will need treatment, and he will have scars."
She talks about how the media is ignoring the story. "They haven't spoken to me," she says, emphasizing that she wants the police to find the perpetrators using the cameras that filmed the incident, footage that disappeared. "There were dozens of people, and everyone there pulled out their phones and filmed from every direction. I thought we wouldn't make it out alive. We were screaming, you see him bleeding, and they still didn't let us pass. How cruel can one be? What happened to the people of Israel?"
A complaint was filed with the police, but at the time of publishing, the police have yet to contact the couple. "I really hope that it will happen. The police weren't with us when it happened; when I asked them to rescue us from the lynch and help us get to the hospital. They weren't there. I understand they didn't know and that it was spontaneous, but now they have all the time to watch the footage and catch whoever did this."
The couple's lawyer, Attorney Raphael Asulin, stated: "The ongoing incitement and finger-pointing against the haredi public as if it's the one leading the nation into this dark time, something that is shown in the 'handmaiden's tale' displays across the country, causes people to do unthinkable acts, when my client's sin was being haredi, because of that he was attacked without mercy until his life was in danger.
My client is broken; he's afraid to leave his home because he may be attacked again. And let's not mention the incompetence of the police, which didn't do a thing during the incident or even afterward. My client had to use his last strength, being wounded and hurt, to submit a complaint as he was told by the police. I hope that after the complaint is submitted, the police will work to find those responsible for this terrible lynch.
The Israel Police said in a statement: "Every complaint received by the police that raises suspicion of a criminal offense is examined and investigated for supporting evidence, as is this case. Regarding the recent reports of a physical assault on the religious couple in Tel Aviv, there is an ongoing investigation in which investigators are working with determination to bring those responsible to justice. The case was transferred from the Holon station where the initial report was filed, to the Tel Aviv station where it is currently being investigated. We will continue to investigate this case thoroughly."
(Israel National News received additional photos of the victim's injuries, but we are refraining from publishing them to respect their privacy.)