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Arab assailant admits to racist motive

Updated: Jan 22


HaGai Street; Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 10:35 Recently, a Jewish youth who was assaulted by an Arab youth approximately six months ago was shocked to discover that despite documentation of the assault by security cameras and an admission by the assailant of his racist motivation, the case had been closed. Honenu Attorney Ofir Steiner, who is representing the victim, filed an appeal to reopen the investigative case. The appeal describes the incident as follows:

The Jewish youth was walking on HaGai Street in the Old City of Jerusalem, towards the Western Wall, preoccupied by his own concerns and speaking on his cell phone. When he passed the turn onto Via Dolorosa, a group of approximately six Arab youths, who had left the Temple Mount, approached him from the opposite direction. One of the Arab youths separated from the rest of the group and assaulted the complainant with a forceful shoulder slam.

A police action report recorded by a policeman who was near the scene of the incident reveals that the assaulted Jew complained to the policeman immediately after the assault. The policeman immediately detained the assailant, who said that he “doesn’t know why he attacked the victim”.

During interrogation at the police station, the assailant admitted to assaulting the Jew out of racist motivation.

Interrogator: “The investigative material indicates that you did not merely bump into him [the complainant]. You shoved him. Is that correct?

Assailant: “That is correct.”

I: “Do you hate Jews?”

A: “Yes.”

I: “Why do you hate Jews?”

A: “Because they are harmful to all Palestinian citizens.”

I: “Did you shove the Jew because he is a Jew?”

A: “Yes.”

I: “How did you shove him?”

A: “With my shoulder.”

I: “Do you know that that means that you did it out of racism?”

A: “Yes.”

Additionally, Steiner addressed the large amount of evidence confirming the assault: “Examining the investigative material indicates that the testimony of the complainant is corroborated by the video clip in the evidence and by the admission of the assailant. The police action report written by the policeman from whom the complainant requested assistance at the scene immediately after the assault also corroborates the testimony. Therefore, the evidence is sufficient to prove that the complainant was assaulted by the assailant, who was motivated by racism, in accordance with the standard required for a criminal trial.”

Steiner stated that closing the case is liable to set a precedent that will endanger the security of additional citizens: “One must not be lenient concerning an incident during which a Jew innocently walking down the street is violently assaulted only because he is a Jew. The assailant must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, ‘so that others will see and fear’. This is paramount to public interest, to protect public security and prevent violent incidents stemming from racist-nationalistic motives. Closing such a serious case is contrary to the opinion of the legislature regarding the severity of the acts, and is liable to damage the security of Israeli citizens.”

In conclusion, Steiner demanded that the case be reopened and that the assailant be penalized to the full extent of the law.


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