Speaking at a demonstration against the conduct of police that led to the death of Ahuvya Sandak was Rabbi Gadi Ansbacher, father of Ori Hy”d, who was murdered two years ago in a Jerusalem forest.
Ansbacher harshly condemned the conduct of the police officers that resulted in Ahuvya’s death, and described his personal connection to the Sandak family.
“Ahuvya’s father is a social worker in the community where I live, in Tekoa,” he related. “He stood by our side from the time of Ori’s murder and we spoke on many occasions, and I got to know him as a special person with an elevated soul.
“When an Arab murders a Jew, however terrible it is, it’s a part of the ongoing struggle we’re in,” he continued. “But when representatives of the state clash with our children, our children who wear large yarmulkes and sidelocks – our children, whose only crime is that they threaten the cultural monopoly of the state with their spiritual vision – this, they cannot tolerate. And so the establishment sends its people after them and after all those who settle the hilltops, and after all those who settle throughout Judea and Samaria.
“The State of Israel has ceased to be a safe place to live – it is no longer the place of security that we thought it would be,” he accused.
Addressing Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana, Ansbacher said that, “The first thing that has to happen here is an investigation of this murder. And the second thing that must happen is that the establishment must be shaken to the core. We cannot live with such a form of government, one which behaves in such a way! We cannot live in a police state – and then, when we find ourselves in need of the police, they’re not there.
“When we endured our own tragedy,” he continued, “we were in contact with many government officials, some of whom did their utmost to help us. But there was one official body that was totally deaf to anything we had to say – and that was the police force.”
Rabbi Gadi Ben Zimra, Jerusalem deputy mayor Aryeh King, and the rabbi of Bat Ayin (where the Sandak family lives), Rabbi Daniel Hacohen, also spoke at the demonstration.
King stressed that the police chase that culminated in Ahuvya Sandak’s death was contrary to police regulations, and he called on Minister Ohana to establish an independent commission of inquiry into the incident. “It seems that there’s one set of rules for Jews, and another for Arabs,” he said. “To my sorrow, there are police officers who work in Judea and Samaria who look on Jews who live there as second or third class citizens. That’s why you, Minister Ohana, have to shake up the police department there and fire the commanding officer. You have to dismantle that department!” he cried, his calls echoed by those listening to his words.
Rabbi Daniel Hacohen then spoke, saying that, “We are here to lift up our eyes to G-d that He should see what a wonderful nation He has and how we stand here together in solidarity. How can it be that police officers, whose task it is to help us settle the Land of Israel, could show such cold contempt for the lives of our children, such feelings of alienation, that they actually caused the death of our son?”