Protesters Moved by Police
Protesters Moved by PoliceYonatan Toktali, Tatzpit

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which concentrates on perceived violations of civil rights of Arabs, has released a report accusing police of failing to protect Arabs in eastern Jerusalem. The report acknowledges that it focuses specifically on Arab complaints because their “voice is seldom heard.”

The ACRI report said police "practice selective law enforcement and fail to provide even the most minimal protection to Palestinian locals.” Other accusations in the report were even more acerbic: “Law enforcement authorities have become complicit in violating Palestinian rights; in many cases, they do not enforce the law or do so only in a discriminatory manner."

The police refute the allegations. "The Israeli police patrol those areas on a 24/7 basis," spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, as quoted by AFP. "We respond to any incident that takes place... including making arrests whenever necessary."

ACRI says it is the only Israeli human rights organization “that deals with the entire spectrum of human rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories.” Asked for an example of trampled Jewish civil rights that were dealt with by the organization, a spokesperson for ACRI told Israel National News, “There are several. For example, during the Disengagement, we protested against government treatment of anti-withdrawal protestors.”

Reminded that that was five years ago, another ACRI spokesperson later supplemented this information by saying, "We have just recently come out in favor of nationalists' rights to march in Um el-Fahm, against the court ruling preventing Chaim Perlman from meeting a lawyer, and more. In general, whenever someone turns to us with a complaint, we do not discriminate; we attempt to act wherever civil rights are trampled."

The ACRI report, however, does not mention the case of the Jewish father and daughter who were nearly lynched by eastern Jerusalem Arabs two months ago and whose complaint in the police station was greeted with apathy. Nor does it mention several other similar attacks around that time. The victim of one of the latter said that police told him that the police have been ordered not to get involved in such incidents because Arabs attack cars so as to force police to enter their neighborhoods.

Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmulik Ben-Ruby, contacted by Israel National News at the time, denied the existence of such a policy.