Police detain 16 Betar fans from anti-Arab riot (JERUSALEM POST) By MELANIE LIDMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF 03/29/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
Jerusalem police detained 16 Betar Jerusalem fans over the past few
days in connection with a racist riot at the Malha Mall last Monday.
Ten of the suspects were released on condition by the police
commander, and the remaining six suspects, five youth and one adult,
were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Thursday afternoon.
The Magistrate judge accepted the police’s recommendations to forbid
the suspects from attending any soccer games for the remainder of
this season as well as the next two seasons. Additionally, the
suspects will have to pay a guarantee of NIS 3,500 against future
offenses. Next week, police will most likely recommend the indictment
of the six suspects for chanting racist statements and physically
attacking the Arab cleaners.
Earlier on Thursday, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch
said that the police need to show greater determination in pursuing
attacks on Arabs, Israel Radio reported.
The public security minister said that the police reaction was
unmotivated and unacceptable.
City Councilor Elisha Peleg, who holds the sport and security
portfolios, admitted that the city’s efforts at eradicating racism
among younger fans through education and workshops had been
unsuccessful. “We are really trying with education and we’re hoping
that these phenomenon won’t happen but we can’t predict them
beforehand,” he said.
On Wednesday night, more than 150 people gathered at the Malha mall
at an anti-racism demonstration organized by the Tag Meir (Bright
Tag) forum, which is dedicated to stopping racism and sexism. “It’s
important to have tolerance in Jerusalem, it’s embarrassing what
happened in the mall,” said Stacey Blank, a mother of two, at the
protest on Wednesday. “When they behave like this, it’s a way of
giving them permission,” she said.
On Thursday, the Coalition Against Racism in Israel slammed the
Jerusalem police’s slow reaction to the riot, and accused them of
only opening an investigation after a widespread public outcry in the
media. Police said that they did not pursue the matter because by the
time officers arrived on the scene the rioters had dispersed, and
that none of the Arab cleaners wanted to file a complaint. “The
Israel police’s refusal to open an investigation without a complaint
being filed by one of the people involved is outrageous and sinful,
and is part of the duties and role of the police,” the organization
wrote in a letter to the police. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY