Avraham Sandak, father of Ahuvya, who was killed in the course of a police chase almost a year ago, spoke with Arutz Sheva on Sunday, discussing inflammatory statements recently made in the media regarding his son’s death and the subsequent failure of the State Prosecution to indict anyone in connection with the tragic events.
Earlier that day, Internal Security Minister Omer Bar Lev (Labor) expressed his opinion that Ahuvya died because he was attempting to flee from the police who were only doing their duty in pursuing him, and that therefore there was no reason why the police should be the subjects of an official investigation.
“We were absolutely shocked and horrified to hear such words coming from a minister of the government of Israel,” Sandak says. “Such words strike at the very foundations of democracy. Basically, he was saying that an investigation is unnecessary – and that’s simply delusional. Every single road accident should be investigated and certainly one as serious as this.”
Sandak stresses that, “Our arguments are extremely well-founded. We brought a traffic investigator to the scene, and he demonstrated clearly that the car had been rammed. Ahuvya was trapped under the car for forty minutes, and that’s also something that we can prove. And the police prevented the paramedics from treating the injured, and didn’t let them check the area – didn’t let them look to see if there was someone trapped under the car – and we have proof of that too.”
In his comments, Bar Lev referred to Ahuvya Sandak and his friends as “Hilltop Youth,” which was interpreted by many as an accusation in itself. “I hear the implied criticism,” Ahuvya’s father says. “I think what he meant to say is that there are some people who think that if Hilltop Youth were involved, it’s not so terrible that one of them died. So, is looking like a Hilltop Youth now a crime deserving of a death sentence? Can the police be judge and executioner in condemning them to death? And now that the worst happened, they’re not even going to investigate it?”
In recent days, there have been several demonstrations demanding that the police involved in the tragedy be brought to trial. “There’s tremendous anger at the injustice and it can’t be contained. My sweet son, my beloved son, someone whom everyone loved, was killed by police who were chasing him, who rammed into the car he was sitting in and killed him – and they were Israeli police! In my vision of how things should be, we would be able to admire our police officers – they would be worthy of respect, people who embody the values of the Jewish People.”
In Sandak’s opinion, there is a broad consensus in the country that the police should indeed be subject to an investigation in this case, and the decision be transferred to the courts. “This has damaged Israeli society. The country needs to have a police force and if they make a mistake, they need to admit it and not engage in cover-ups.”
With regard to some of the more extreme statements made by those participating in protests, Sandak says it makes him uncomfortable to hear such words, but he understands where the sentiments are coming from. “We as a People are supposed to be a ‘Kingdom of Priests, a Holy People,’” he says. “We want to see the greatness of the Jewish People, and that’s why what happened hurts so much.”
He stresses that he and his family have received a tremendous amount of support from people from across the political spectrum, including even avowed left-wingers.
“Secular people, traditional Jews, and even left-wingers came to visit us and tell us that we are fighting a just battle – that there’s no struggle more righteous than ours,” he relates. “This isn’t a matter of Right versus Left. Even prominent public figures have expressed their support and done what they could to help us – even people on the extreme-left-wing. People have helped us write letters, given us legal advice, arranged meetings. People realize that this is about justice, about trying to rectify what’s gone wrong with our country. What happened is a stain on our country and we have to erase it.”