Given the scope of surveillance and undercover police activity in Zion Square, it is unreasonable that events of late last Thursday night were not prevented or immediately stopped by the Israel Police. Therefore, the proposed "Special Investigative Panel" by the Israel Police will not do in this case. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission should review the conduct of Israel Police in this case.
Zion Square, Jerusalem, August 17, 2012, 00:33,32 - panoramic view from the south.
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Hebrew text below
Zion Square, Jerusalem, August 18 - Jewish mob attack on Palestinian youths last Thursday night was described by eyewitnesses and media as "lynch".  More properly, the recent violence in Zion Square should be described as a pogrom. Given the scope of surveillance and undercover police activity in Zion Square, it is unreasonable that events of last Thursday night were not prevented or immediately stopped by the Israel Police on the ground.
According to several witnesses it took uniformed police about 15-30 minutes to arrive on the location, at the center of Jerusalem and less than half a mile from Police Headquarter, after emergency calls by persons on location, who described the event as "murder". When police arrived, they stood by as the Jewish mob continued with the violence. According to witnesses, police intervened only after victims were in bad condition, on the ground.
The most troubling questions about conduct of the Israel Police in this case are:
1) Why was there no uniformed police presence in Zion Square on a Thursday night?
Uniformed police presence in Zion Square on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights has been repeatedly requested, following the murder of a Palestinian youth by Jews in February 2011 under similar circumstance.
2) Why did it take uniformed police so long to arrive on location?
Past experience shows that the Israel Police response in the same location was remarkably faster in much less serious cases.
3) With the multiplicity of surveillance cameras and undercover police on the ground in Zion Square and Ben Yehuda pedestrian areas, why was the violence not immediately stopped?
Regulars in the Zion Square area are familiar with the constant surveillance and undercover police presence.
Less than three weeks ago, an Open Memo was filed with Nitzav Meni Yitzhaqi, Substitute Commander of the Jerusalem District, Israel Police, specifically addressing conditions in Zion Square.  The Open Memo listed a sequence of recent events in the Square, starting with:
February 2011 – an Arab youth is murdered on nationalistic background near the Square. In the wake of the murder, and in view of ongoing disturbances of public peace in the Square, request was forwarded by this writer to a Member of Knesset, for uniformed Israel Police presence in the Square at nights, at least Thursdays-Saturdays. Consequently, such presence was maintained for a short period only.
The Open Memo concludes:
a) Public Safety in the Zion Square area is deficient.
b) The Israel Police has deliberately refused to investigate some of the most significant violations of public safety in the Square over the past half year with no reasonable explanation, although the incidents were of the nature of sabotage attempts [Nisayon Pigu'a].
c) Civilian agencies have attempted to restrict the rights to Free Speech and Free Assembly in the Square, a historic public space. Israel Police has not enforced such policies. However, law enforcement of the State of Israel is increasingly using the public space for parking of vehicles and motorcycles.
d) Undercover operations and unwarranted surveillance are conducted by law enforcement of the State of Israel in the Zion Square area. Some of such conduct is likely to be deemed in violation of Human Rights, or worse - staging of provocations.
The conclusions of the Open Memo are re-affirmed by events of last Thursday night. Combined, they raise serious concerns that withholding uniformed police and the reliance on surveillance devices and undercover police are employed for institutionalized discrimination by law enforcement - a serious violation of Human Rights.
Given the nature of the events, the proposed "Special Investigative Panel" by the Israel Police is unreasonable. Likewise, an investigation commission, headed by a retired justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Israel (a common practice) would be deficient, in part, because the standard of review should be based on Human Rights, as applicable to Jerusalem, "Corpus Separatum" by international law.
Instead, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be established to investigate the conduct of the Israel Police surrounding the recent lynching/pogrom in Zion Square.  Obviously, such Commission would not have access to critical evidence, held by the Israel Police. It is unlikely that the surveillance videos, or identities of undercover police, who were present on the scene, would ever be made public under any other investigative body in this case either. And investigation by any body of the State of Israel, where the evidence is kept confidential, should not be trusted in this case.
The agreement of peers, both Arabs and Jews, to serve on the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and likewise - the voluntary appearance of eye witnesses, both Jews and Arabs, should be sufficient to reach informed and competent conclusions and recommendations in this case. The voluntary service of panel members and the voluntary appearance of eye witnesses would also provide the real demonstration that the People of Jerusalem are willing/ready/able to safeguard Human Rights and justice for all. Otherwise, constant presence of voluntary or mandated international monitors may be required.
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
 הארץ _ חשד ללינץ' בירושלים: עשרות נערים תקפו שלושה פלסטינים, ניר חסון
Nir Hason, In suspected Jerusalem lynch, dozens of Jewish youths attack 3 Palestinians _ Haaretz
6 wounded in two anti-Palestinians attacks by Jewish perpetrators in Israel _ English.xinhuanet.com
 12-07-31 Open Memo to Nitzav Meni Yitzhaqi Substitute Commander, Jerusalem District (Mahoz) Israel Police, in re: Evidence of deficient Public Safety and alleged violations of Human Rights in Zion Square area, conclusions and recommendations s
 Among the numerous truth and reconciliation commissions, established in various nations in recent decades, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established in Greensboro, North Carolina, under similar circumstances, should be particularly noted:
11-12-23 The 2005 Greensboro (North Carolina) Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2005-6) and the Greensboro Massacre (1979) - Executive Report s
 12-07-07 Biographical Sketch Joseph Zernik, PhD
 12-06-04 Human Right Alert's Appendix to Submission; 15th UPR Working Group Session (Jan-Feb 2013) – State of Israel: Integrity, or lack thereof, of the electronic record systems of the courts of the State of Israel
 10-04-19 Human Rights Alert (NG0) submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the
2010 Review (UPR) of Human Rights in the United States as incorporated into the UPR staff report, with a note referring to "corruption of the courts and the legal profession in California".
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
* The 2010 Human Rights Alert submission was incorporated in the 2010 United Nations Human Rights Council report on the United States, with a note referring to "corruption of the courts and the legal profession in California". 
* The 2012 Human Rights Alert submission , regarding the State of Israel, titled, "Integrity, or lack thereof of the electronic records of the courts of the State of Israel", is scheduled for review by United Nations Human Rights Council in January 2013. 
Human Rights Alert online
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In: Other Middle East
Tags: Zion Square, Jerusalem, Pgorom, Lynch
Location: Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Israel (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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