Benzi’s “Behind the Flames” column in Matzav HaRuach:
Justice for Ahuvya, Justice for the Hilltop Youth
Almost two weeks have gone by since the tragic death of Ahuvya Sandak z”l. For whoever accidentally forgot, here are the details of the story again, summarized: An undercover police vehicle gave chase after a car in which Ahuvya and his friends were traveling, after according to the police, the boys in the car had thrown stones at Arab cars (a claim that is as yet unproven by any means). At a certain stage, the police car rammed into the boys’ car, which caused it to overturn and which led to Ahuvya’s death.
As of this writing, it looks like the cops that were involved in the criminal killing of Ahuvya, are getting off of this incident, as with dozens of other incidents, scott-free: The Police Investigations Dept. is sluggishly investigating the case, with the full cooperation of the police (have you ever heard of a civilian suspected of committing a crime, investigating himself?), and as it looks, for this case, too, the announcement will come out in a few months that “no evidence was found that a crime was committed”, and the cops who caused the death of Ahuvya will go on with their jobs as usual.
Now look, you don’t have to agree with every statement or action by the hilltop youth, to be in agreement with such a basic demand to do justice. I personally have an ideological disagreement of many years’ standing with (most of) the hilltop youth: As long as they do not believe in the state and believe that they have to dislike its institutions and disconnect any contact with it, we, students of Rabbi Kahane, claim that the state is the beginning of the Redemption and encourage young people to enlist in the army, donate to the state and integrate into its institutions – despite the long-term harassment we “merit” from Israeli governments and law enforcement bodies.
But as the years go by, police harassment of the hilltop youth keeps getting worse, and has now come to a head with the death of Ahuvya. This is not speculation, but official data of the police themselves: According to the police data, between the yeas 2016-2018 the Yamar Shai station has investigated 331 files of Jewish nationalistic crime. And how many files of nationalistic crime by Arabs, which is a daily occurrence? Only 4 cases (!).
One does not need to be an analyst to understand that there is systematic and intentional harassment here, whose purpose is to harm the best of the youth, who dedicate the years of their youth to building and settling the country, not to be TikTok stars. When this is the Israeli police’s treatment, essentially the State of Israel’s treatment, of those youth, it’s hard to expect them not to see the State as a tool that tries to do as much as it can to harm the Redemption process in the Land of Israel. When the hilltop kids come to me lately and yell that the state treats them like enemies, while it treats Arabs with kid gloves, I have no good answer to give them.
Government ministers, the senior ranks of the police, the Shabac security service, the prosecution and the entire law enforcement system should know: Your growing and biased harassment of the hilltop youth is liable to cause unrest whose aftermath will lead to you. Don’t expect that your experience in whitewashing the unjust murder of a 17 y.o. Jewish youth will calm things down. Meanwhile, instead of putting the offending policemen on trial, take care of the real troubles of the Jewish people – endless Arab terror, and thus put out the flames; you’re only pouring jerrycans of oil on the bonfire.
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