An attempt to kill a family in its sleep would get almost any police force to make an extra effort. Not when the police is Israeli and the victims Palestinians
Late one night in May 2012, H., a resident of the village Einbus, was awakened when he heard a noise outside his house. He went towards the window, heard dogs barking, and when he reached the window he smelled smoke. He ran to the balcony, where he noticed two things: First and foremost, his car was on fire; and second, three or four settlers –in the usual pogrom attire of yarmulkes, black trousers and white shirts –were speedily making a getaway, running to the nearby outpost, one of Yitzhar’s.
H. wanted to pursue them, but two concerns prevented him from doing so. First, they might be armed; second, the burning vehicle was very close to the house and the flames were advancing rapidly toward the house. H. shouted and woke his father and brother. They went out to put out the fire, and evacuated the rest of the family members. After some struggle – lucky for them they had a fire hydrant in the yard – they managed to put out the fire; but the main door of the house was already burned, the car was a total loss (the damage is estimated at 35,000 NIS, or about 9,500 USD), and the front of the house was all covered in soot.
You have to be an especially nasty sort of person, to set a vehicle of fire near a house where people are sleeping. At best, you’re acting with total disregard for their fate; at worst, you are making an effort to murder a family as it sleeps. As a rule, this is the sort of person police forces all over the world show a fiery interest in.
Not the Israeli police, though. H. informed the police within an hour of the incident, and drove over to the Ariel police station to register a complaint. The police wasn’t all that interested. It closed the case on the first of July, on the pretext of “unknown perpetrator.” It didn’t bother informing Yesh Din until August 14th.
Then we started the strange waltz, in which we ask the police for the case file so we can wave it over our heads, along with a dead chicken, so as to enact a voodoo ritual which might convince the prosecution to allow us to appeal. (Note to our animal loving readers: No chicken was harmed during the updating of this case, and accordingly our appeal request was rejected.) But when the police finally allowed us to photocopy the files, on October 29th, it was over a month over the period of appeal. And, to add insult to injury, it turned out that though our representative had come to the police station with the understanding he may photocopy 17 files, only six files had actually been approved for copying. And even that took place after an unusually long delay, caused inter alia because the police was out of paper for the photocopy machine.
And while the Israeli police was busy performing its cover version of the Keystone Cops, a group of marauders who nearly killed a family as it slept was laughing all the way to the next Price Tag pogrom.