A truly disturbing security camera video that documents a sexual assault by an African work immigrant against a 37-year-old Israeli woman in Tel Aviv has sent shock waves through Israel, and is prompting many to ask why “human rights” groups and “women's rights” groups have remained silent about the incident, which took place in the early hours of the morning on March 19.
However, the question highlighted by the media is – why didn't passersby attempt to help the woman?
The video, can be seen on Facebook at this link, shows the man accosting the woman, grabbing her hair, pulling her down and attempting to force himself upon her. At a certain point, another woman approaches him and tries to convince him to stop the attack. This woman was reportedly the one who called the police, who arrested the man.
He was charged Thursday with an attempt to perform an act of sodomy, assault, and assault of a policeman in grave circumstances. The charge sheet says the defendant, Kuni Mado, a Guinean, spat in the woman's face before grabbing her hair and assaulting her, and that he desisted only when a police car arrived.
As he was being taken to the police station, he began to act wildly inside the car and tried to escape. He also spat at a policeman, assaulted him and bit his hand forcefully.
Judge Zion Kapah ordered his remand extended until Wednesday and to have him sent to psychiatric evaluation. His lawyer claimed that he was “in a serious psychotic state and was unaware of what was happening.”
The victim was interviewed on Channel 2 and said that she first saw the man as they were crossing the street, and that she thought that he was “just a guy jogging in the morning. There are many joggers.”
"Then he started chasing me. He started out by shouting, 'I'm crazy!' The street was full of people. It was definitely not just tourists and foreign workers. Cars, people. They stopped, looked, and kept on walking, for about ten minutes.”
"They preferred to cross over to the sidewalk on the other side. Once the event began I started shouting calling out for help. I saw cars passing right next to us. Two taxis that slowed down to see what was happening, but none of them stopped. I tried to wave to people, to ask them to call policemen, but no one did anything.”
A leading local activist, Sheffi Paz, responded angrily on Facebook to a post by a radical leftist writer who accused local residents of ignoring the woman's suffering.
"Where do you get the chutzpah to blame us for rape? We, who have been the victims of so many incidents of sexual violence? And not one word, not one little word about the circumstances that led to this lawlessness, and the fact that the state brought upon the women of southern Tel Aviv tens of thousands of sex-starved men, and the fact that the assorted aid organizations and leftist groups are fighting with all their might, for this situation to continue? About the fact that the women;s organizations are silent and the feminists have nothing to say?”
May Golan, an activist who has been leading the fight to expel the immigrant workers from southern Tel Aviv, claimed on Channel 2 that the reason for people's apparent disregard for the woman's plight was that southern Tel Aviv has become a no-man's land with unwritten laws of its own. She said that there is “a conspiracy of silence” involving the Prime Minister's Office, the police and the Tel Aviv municipality regarding the situation in southern Tel Aviv, where tens of thousands of illegal African imigrants have settled.
The reason for the conspiracy, she explained, is that “they do not want to create panic in the public.”
Another activist, Orly Yuger, added that there are criminal assaults in the area on a daily basis, including sexual assaults against Filipino female foreign workers. She said that incidents like this are purposely hidden from the public eye, and that the latest incident was only reported because a reporter happened to be in the courtroom when the suspect was arraigned. She cited false information that was circulated, according to which the rates of crime among foreign workers is similar to the national average.
A police officer, Brig. Gen. Yoram Ohayon, said the local police station had been beefed up by about 200 policemen, to deal with the problem of local crime.