Jewish man stabbed while protecting Arabs
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

2 Arabs narrowly escape lynching in Jerusalem

Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews assault two Palestinians in Jerusalem Tuesday evening; 'people in yeshiva were yelling: murder the Jews who protect Arabs,' says Jewish man who saved lynch victims' lives

Hatred in Jerusalem: Two Palestinians narrowly escaped a lynching attempt in Jerusalem Tuesday evening after they were assaulted by dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews. The two Arabs were wounded, while a Jewish resident who protected them with his body was stabbed.


"Blood was boiling, and these crazy people almost killed me," the Jewish man told Ynet. The police are looking into the incident and searching for the attackers.


According to eyewitness testimonies, an angry mob stormed the backyard of a home located near a Jerusalem yeshiva. The family at the home was sitting shiva at the time after a relative died.


Jewish man 'nearly murdered' (Photo: Dudi Vaaknin)


"Suddenly, while we were sitting shiva because my father-in-law passed away, two Palestinians stormed into the house bleeding and bruised, following by an angry mob," the Jewish man, who asked that his name not be published, told Ynet. "Dozens of ultra-Orthodox from the nearby yeshiva entered the backyard and severely beat up the two Palestinians, while we, still shocked, were trying to break it up and protect the Palestinians."


'Murder the Jews who protect Arabs' 

The man and his relatives stopped the mob with their bodies and pushed them out of their backyard, while keeping the two Arabs at home until the anger subsided.


"Two ultra-Orthodox guys from the yeshiva's balcony yelled: 'Murder the Jews who protect Arabs,'" the man said. "The two Arabs told us that they had a dispute with the Orthodox owner of a nearby store. After they argued, the masses arrived and started beating them up. We waited a few minutes for things to relax, and then my son and I took them out to a nearby alley, so they can go home."


However, a mob then again came out of the yeshiva and started chasing the two Palestinians.


"They caught them and beat them up terribly," the Jewish man said. "My son and I were quick to protect them with our bodies…then, two Orthodox men arrived and one told us: 'You're saving Arabs?' they pulled out knives. I managed to grab the arm of one of them, yet the second one cut my stomach."


The man said that at this point the mob began dispersing in panic. Large police forces were meanwhile called to the scene.


"It was a mad scuffle…crazy people who are calling themselves 'religious' almost killed the two Palestinians and me. I was unwilling to see anyone being killed – I was educated against violence and to protect any person. Fortunately I'm a strong man, but had I been stabbed one centimeter higher or lower, this would have ended in murder."


'Instead of helping us, he helped them'

A student in a nearby yeshiva told Ynet: "We saw the incident and some of the people chanted against the Jewish guy, who instead of helping the Jews being beaten up helped the Arabs, and even beat up Jews…instead of helping us, he helped them."


"As far as we know, one of the Arabs had a dispute with the store owner and started beating up people," the yeshiva student said. "When people who arrived at the site stared fighting him, more Arabs joined in and assaulted Jews."


Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, who leads the nearby yeshiva, said the Jewish attackers did not come from his institute, "because there are no young guys here, only older people. It is possible that some of the attackers entered our yeshiva compound during the riot, because it is open to anyone."


The rabbi also proceeded to harshly condemn the Jewish attackers.


"This is a very grave incident. No man must hurt innocents, either Arabs or Jews," he said. "This is against Jewish law. I really hope that they find those who took part in the brawl and bring the attackers to justice."


Efrat Weiss contributed to the story


פרסום ראשון: 07.22.08, 23:08
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