They shouldn’t be telling us that Yaakov Teitel’s arrest is a success story. They shouldn’t try to sell us, again, the weak excuse about the individual terrorist that cannot be traced. When a murderer like Yaakov Teitel walks around freely for 12 years, carries out attacks, trains, creates an explosives lab, and builds up a weapons depot with no interruption, this means there is no deterrence.
In other words, the Shin Bet security service and police are not there. And when there is no deterrence, there is high likelihood that the next “patriotic” murderer is already walking amongst us.
And what does the next murderer think to himself, the person who dreams – like Yaakov Teitel – of being the nation’s savior and guardian of our race? How simple it is, he must be telling himself. You can murder, plant explosives, and create provocations freely and nobody will snitch on you or capture you.
12 Years of Terror
Former top security service officials analyze Teitel affair. Ayalon says Shin Bet could have done more, while MK Hasson draws attention to complexity of gathering intelligence within Jewish communities
After all, Yaakov Teitel did not hide in a large city like Tel Aviv. He lived in a very small community, Shvut Rachel. It’s impossible that he raised no suspicions for such a long time. But the fact is, nobody informed authorities. Even when he was held up for questioning, he was released for lack of evidence.
So what does the next murderer conclude about the Shin Bet’s ability to cover and penetrate such small communities? There is nobody to fear. Law enforcement authorities don’t reach these places.
Why does the name Shvut Rachel sound familiar? In the summer of 2005, during the Gaza disengagement, local resident Asher Weisgan murdered five Palestinians. He too was a sole attacker and he too murdered in order to create a provocation, but he was nabbed immediately and not after 12 years. And what did his neighbors say about him? “A very intelligent person with an artistic sense.” How could it be that the Shin Bet doesn’t “move into” such community? Yes, it may be complicated, but it’s not impossible.
Go back to basics
The fact that Teitel managed to bring arms into Israel through a regular container sent to the Ashdod Port and to arrive in Israel with a handgun aboard a flight is also a terrible failure. If one person can transport six weapons at once, crime and terror organizations that are a little more sophisticated are certainly having a party. And later we’re surprised that the territories and the crime world are flooded by illegal arms.
They are telling us that an individual murderer who is not part of an organization and talks only to himself is very difficult to nab. However, most serious murders and major violent crimes in Israel are committed by individuals and not by organizations. Based on this logic, it’s almost impossible to nab any murderer, or alternately it should take many years to do so. Yet this is not the case. Most murderers are apprehended.
No investigative body takes pride in unresolved cases or in cases that are resolved after 12 years. Teitel is a serial criminal in every way. Hence, we cannot accept the Shin Bet’s and police’s satisfaction after it took them so many years to nab him.
When did they really start to make an intense effort to find him? When was the special investigative team formed? Only after the attempt to kill Professor Zeev Sternhell. And when did investigators go into high gear? Only after the murder in the Tel Aviv gay bar. This probe led to Teitel’s arrest.
In the past two years Teitel was so satisfied with his own actions that he boosted their rate and started to make mistakes. He was caught because of his homophobic tendencies, not because of his nationalistic tendencies.
It appears that 14 years after Rabin’s murder, there is a need to go back to the basics, and also to examine the Shin Bet Jewish Division’s capabilities and resources. We need to ask, for example, how many cases it resolved in recent years.
The State of Israel is facing tough tests vis-à-vis the far Right. Should we face an accelerated diplomatic process or a need to evacuate more communities, we shall see bitter clashes. The Teitel affair shows us that not only do the mad individuals and marginal groups exist, they’re also not scared.