Jerusalem Police Brutality

I sent a photo-copy of a page from The Jerusalem Post, Letters To The Editor section, Fri., Aug. 25, 1995 (Av 29, 5755) to American friends since it included a letter from me and one from a lawyer friend with this written at the top:

Shalom!
Howard Grief is a lawyer & one of my Israeli friends to write a letter of recomm.
for me. I was one of Gershon’s “loyal followers” who was blessed to shield him from harm.

David

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

POLICE BRUTALITY
Sir, – On Tisha Be’av, when we
mourn the destruction of both the
First and Second Temples, which
also symbolized the end of Jewish
statehood, I, like hundreds of others,
proceeded to the Mugrabi Gate, at
the Temple Mount, hoping to gain
entry, in accordance with the Su-
preme Court ruling rendered a few
days earlier. However, the sloped
narrow entrance was blocked by
dozens of police, who after a certain
while, upon signal, tried to break up
the assembly that had legally gath-
ered there.
To my horror and disbelief, I then
witnessed a series of acts that were
sheer and unmitigated police brutal-
ity that tarnishes and defames the
good name of the Jewish State.
In one instance, a policeman re-
peatedly beat and shoved an old
woman who refused to leave the
spot, where she had a perfect right to
be. When others in the crowd went
to her assistance, they too were at-
tacked. In another instance, a haredi-
dressed man was knocked to the
ground when he protested in a digni-
fied way the violent removal of an-
other person who was defending
himself against excessive police
force being used to eject him from
the site. Anyone who dared to open
their mouth to comment on what
was occurring before their very eyes
was immediately subject to police
assault.
Most shocking of all was the ill-
treatment accorded the leader of the
Temple Mount Faithful, Gershon
Salomon, whose persistence in se-
curing Jewish rights of prayer on the
Temple Mount finally won the en-
dorsement of the Supreme Court.
But this great accomplishment was
frustrated by what appeared to be
police “coordination” in advance
with Arab opponents of Jewish
rights of prayer on the Temple
Mount. Arabs were purposely incit-
ed to create the necessary “security
threat” which enabled the police to
close the Temple Mount to Jewish
prayer. Salomon, who was seriously
wounded in action in the Six Day
War on the Syrian front and as a
result suffers from a permanent
walking disability, had to endure the
gross indignity of being seized by
the police and dragged away by sev-
eral husky officers who then put him
down on the pavement where he
received a hard blow to his head that
caused him to lose consciousness.
By good fortune, he was saved from
being trampled upon by the milling
throng, by a few of his loyal follow-
ers, who helped to shield him from
further injuries. It is incredible that a
man of Salomon’s stature should
have been subject to this kind of
vicious treatment by the police!
One wonders how Jewish police
in the Jewish State can behave in
such a cruel and savage fashion to
fellow Jews, which has no precedent
in the history of the state.
HOWARD GRIEF
Jerusalem

DISCRIMINATION
Sir- What is going on here?
Jews are forcibly prevented from
praying, undemocratically denied
free access to the Temple Mount,
and cruelly evicted by other Jews!
What a spectacle for the whole
world to watch! All this in a “Jew-
ish State.”
If this had happened anywhere
else, the Jewish community would
be up in arms. We would have wit-
nessed an outpouring of righteous
indignation and heard deafening
cries of antisemitism. But the double
standard does not end there.
If it had been Christians or Mos-
lems who received such shabby
treatment from Israeli policemen,
the UN would have quickly con-
vened to condemn such a callous
display of religious discrimination
and demand an immediate end to the
flagrant violation of religious rights
Israel has sworn to uphold.
It is all too evident that the Tem-
ple Mount is not “in our hands.” It
remains under a defiant Moslem oc-
cupation that continues to mock Is-
raeli sovereignty. The Temple
Mount is not in our hands because it
is not in our hearts and minds. This
is a terrible indictment against our
political and religious “leaders.” I
doubt Jews prayed for 2,000 years to
return to Zion and pray at a wall.
DAVID BEN-ARIEL
Jerusalem

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