Archive for the ‘Crime in Israel’ Category

Getting Away With Murder

In Crime in Israel on April 28, 2011 at 00:27

Karp Killers Side-Step Murder Conviction

Thanks to a Tel-Aviv court three Jaljulya men  in prison for beating a man to death in front of his wife and daughter in 2009 side-stepped life-in-prison.

Manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. Anyone want to guess the average percentage of time convicted criminals in Israel actually serve?

And how much time with Leonid Karp’s wife and daughter “serve” without their husband/father and with the memories of his brutal murder?

via 3 Karp killers convicted of manslaughter, not murder.

Terror, Criminal and National, Strike in the Heart of the Country

In Crime in Israel on December 25, 2010 at 22:52

Knife used by terrorist in a recent attempted stabbing

The terrorist stabbing  incident in a national park that left Kay Wilson of Givat Ze’ev badly wounded and took the life of her American friend Kristine Luken (see below) has the entire country up in arms.

Understandably. Meanwhile, deaths by stabbing have become a weekly if not more frequent event in our little corner of the world.

When will the citizens of this country be just as outraged  and prepared to step forward to stop criminals from killing and maiming as they are to stop terrorists?

Meanwhile a national prosecutor strike is throwing a wrench into our already overworked and under-achieving criminal justice system. Even accused terrorists, murderers and pedophile Oren Korido have been released to house arrest because prosecutors are refusing to try cases until their strike is settled.

Don’t we have enough challenges to deal with already? Let’s hope the prosecutors and their bosses will hurry up and come to terms— before anyone falls victim to the criminals flowing out the justice system’s revolving door.

Police: Stabbing was probably a terror attack


“We are still looking at all directions, continuing the investigation,” says police spokesman, after US woman found dead near J’lem.

Saturday’s stabbing and murder of two young women in a forest near Beit Shemesh were probably a terrorist attack, police said on Sunday.

The police investigation is still under way into the attack that wounded Givat Ze’ev resident Kay Wilson, an olah from Great Britain, and killed her American friend Kristine Luken, as they were hiking in the wooded hills west of the capital.

“We are still looking at all directions, still continuing the investigation, and questioning people who may have seen them,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “The main direction is that this was a nationalistic attack, though we haven’t ruled out the possibilities of a criminal incident.

“There have been no claims [of responsibility] by [terrorist] organizations,” Rosenfeld noted, however.

The body of Luken, a US citizen living in England who was visiting Israel, was found south of Mata, approximately 400 meters from the road between Mata and Beit Shemesh, police said. Her body was discovered around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Wilson, a tour guide who worked part-time for Shoresh Tours, a Christian tour company, was stabbed and seriously wounded and handcuffed, but managed to drag herself to the road. There she saw two families, who called the police.

After she gave a brief account of the incident, Magen David Adom evacuated her to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

On Sunday, police investigators interviewed Wilson in her hospital bed for several hours.

Her condition was improving and she was expected to leave the hospital in two to three days, a Hadassah spokesman said.

“[Wilson] had her hands bound, and she was stabbed pretty bad in the upper part of her body,” Rosenfeld said. “The obvious intention was to have her killed. This was not something where they were just trying to take her purse. It was a serious crime scene. We’re talking about two women walking around the Jerusalem Forest, we’re not even talking about Judea and Samaria.”

Wilson described her ordeal, telling reporters that her attacker removed her Star of David necklace and then stabbed her in the chest.

Wilson and Luken had been hiking in the woods when two Arab men asked Wilson for water in Hebrew, she said. After they disappeared from view, Wilson became uneasy about their intentions, and told Luken they should return to Mata.

As they walked toward the village, the attackers pounced on the women, stabbing both repeatedly.

Wilson said her attacker had used a knife with a huge blade, adding that it looked like a bread knife. Wilson managed to produce a small blade of her own that she carried for selfdefense, and stabbed her attacker once, she said.

But after being stabbed again and again, Wilson fell to the ground and played dead, waiting for the men to leave. She provided harrowing descriptions of hearing her friend struggle for breath before dying on the ground beside her.

After a few minutes, Wilson found that she was able to stand up, and walked toward Mata. She saw a passing car but was unable to shout due to as she was having difficulty breathing.

She then found the two families sitting in a park, and turned around to show them that her hands had been bound. The family alerted police.

Several hundred people searched for Luken overnight Saturday, including units with rescue dogs, combat soldiers, police helicopters, mounted police, and several hundred other police officers.

After Luken’s body was found, police remained at the scene for three hours, combing the area for information.

The security level had not been raised in the Jerusalem area as of Sunday, though police were coordinating with security in the villages around Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh to be extra vigilant.

Rosenfeld said the police were waiting for “concrete answers” before updating security procedures.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

Man aged 20 stabbed to death in TA brawl



4 arrested on suspicion of involvement in argument which lead to attack; Lawrence Amsis found laying on sidewalk bleeding profusely.

Four youths were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of being linked to the fatal stabbing of 20-year-old Lawrence Amsis early on Friday morning outside the Terminal nightclub in Tel Aviv.

Police say Amsis was set upon by a group of suspects on Rehov Hatzfira near the club following a verbal altercation in the nightclub, situated in Tel Aviv’s Yad Harutzim area, the scene of lethal violence in the past.

During the fight, one of the suspects produced a knife and stabbed Amsis, police said. He was rushed to the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, but died of his injuries within a few hours on Friday morning.

Soon after his death, police arrested two suspects aged 20 from Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion on suspicion of being linked to the incident.

On Friday morning the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court extended the suspects’ custody by three days.

The suspects hid their faces beneath their clothes during their arraignment to avoid photographers.

Two additional suspects, aged 18 and 22, both from Holon, were arrested on Saturday evening in connection with the stabbing.

“The background to the mass brawl that broke out in the club, and continued outside it, is still unclear,” Tel Aviv police said in a statement.

Police have shut down the Terminal nightclub for 30 days.

Relatives of Amsis said he worked in plumbing and had been saving money for higher education.

Friends at the Christian Scout youth movement where he was active have expressed shock at his violent death.

The homicide investigation is being led by detectives from the Yiftah police station.

15-year-old dies after stabbing in Beersheba



Police believe stabbing outside absorbtion center followed argument with youths; MDA crews arrive after youth found by passer-by.

A 15-year-old teenage boy died of stab wounds in Beersheva on Friday night after being involved in a fight with other youths near an absorption center, police said.

The youth, a resident of Kiryat Arba, was found in a mortally wounded state by a passer-by and was rushed by paramedics to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, but died of his injuries soon after arrival.

Police launched an investigation, and arrested four suspects on Saturday – three minors and an adult – on suspicion of being involved in fight which led to the youth’s death.

The suspects have denied any involvement. They were questioned at Beersheva police station.

Police suspect a fight broke out between two groups of youths during which the teenager was repeatedly stabbed.

The investigation continues.

Child Victimization: First By The Pedophile, Then By The Law

In Crime in Israel on October 13, 2010 at 00:14


What is the opposite of a “victimless crime”? Perhaps a crime in which the victim is victimized first by the criminal and then by the System.

That is what happens 50% of the time in cases of sexual assault of children at least the way the law is currently written in Israel.

Apparently, the current law does not allow the testimony of children, brought to the court by  investigators specially-trained to work with child victims, to be the sole evidence on the basis of which a criminal case can proceed.

Let me translate that into reality for you. A child with the courage to report having suffered a terrible violation goes to the police. The police investigate. In the pursuit of protection and, perhaps, justice, the child tells his/her horrendous story. No other witnesses? The case gets thrown out for lack of evidence. A pedophile walks free.

I know that the wheels of justice turn slowly. I know that our country is scrambling to come to terms with the dark side of being a truly modern Western Democracy. I know that lawmakers are working to patch this hole in the fabric of our justice system.

Now explain that to a child…


50% Of Rape Cases Are Closed For Lack Of Evidence

Oct. 12, 2010


Liat HaLevi

260 sex crime cases were closed with no criminal record

Knesset Member and Chairman of the Child Rights Committee Danny Danon: “Every day dozens of sex offenders who harm children are freed. We must change the law to enable criminals to be convicted”

38% of sex offenses closed between 2002 and 2009 were closed due to insufficient evidence. 50% of rape cases closed were closed for the same reason.

This data is part of a Knesset Research and Information Center document prepared for the Committee on the Rights of the Child for a discussion to be held today (Tuesday, 12:10:10) regarding the authorities’ handling of reports of sexual offenses against children and youth.

Committee Chairman MK Danny Danon responded: “Every day dozens of sex offenders who harm children are freed. The system is unable to convict these pedophiles, so we must change the law to enable the conviction of these criminals without causing additional harm to the children.”

Danon explained that the most problematic point is that the testimony of child investigators and the documentation of the investigation can not be accepted as the sole evidence for convicting the accused.

Unreported Crimes

A survey conducted by the Carob Institute a year ago, showed that only 55% of those who observed parents violating children reported it to the authorities. Those who did not report, noted that they did not do so due to embarrassment and fear, or not knowing to whom to turn. About a quarter of respondents claimed that they would not know to whom to turn in the case of a violation against a child.

A survey conducted by the Institute in April 2010 also found confusion among respondents regarding in which cases there is a duty to report, regarding the possibility of a false accusation lawsuit being filed against the person who reported and as to whether one can file a report anonymously.

According to Dr. Hanita Cimeren, President of the Association for the Protection of Children, “When an investigation file is closed or the attacker is exonerated, the victim is forced to experience another wave of injury that now includes frustration against the system and a blow to his or her basic confidence in its ability to protect the victim. Therefore, the findings of this study are very serious, that 260 cases  opened in 2009 for sex offenses by youth were closed on the condition of psychological treatment. Since these procedures are closed without producing a criminal record for the suspects, they are referred to the youth probation service. “



A Death in Lod

In Crime in Israel on October 6, 2010 at 00:59

Death and despair in Lod

Last night, Amal Khalili, a lawyer and the mother of three, was shot to death in her car on the streets of Lod. The police are claiming it is “just” another Honor Killing.

However, her grieving family is expressing outrage at police assertions , claiming that police jumped to that conclusion to save themselves the trouble of tracking down the real perpetrators of this drive-by shooting. “The police have gone bankrupt,” the father says.

With 10 of 13 murders committed over the last 2 years unsolved, Lod residents are not just losing their sense of security: they are losing their sense of outrage over what is happening in their city.

That is a death none of us can afford.

After Lod murders: Riot police units enter the city

A large number of security forces were placed in Lod this morning to increase security in the city. “Where they were they yesterday?” a resident wondered.
Yesterday’s murder of a woman in front of her daughter was the 12th such murder in the last two years. Only two of the cases were solved. Among the police, accusations and explanations abound: Meanwhile, everyone is remaining silent about  the investigation

Eli Senior

In Lod they aren’t taking chances, not when a man and a woman were murdered in the city in less than 48 hours: To maintain order and, perhaps more importantly, to restore some confidence in the city in which 12 people were murdered in the last two years, today (Tuesday) the entire Border Police “Shlomo” Company together with the Central Division Special Police were dispatched to Lod. The undeclared goal of their deployment is to make contact with the Arab population and to prevent the next murder.

“I do not think these murders would have been prevented if there had been were more police officers,” said Lod’s Police Chief Deputy Superintendent Yossi Kedem. “Last year’s murders were mainly due to clan conflicts; this year they are more often ‘family honor’ killings.”

In Lod, apparently, residents no longer get excited by serious criminal incidents. Drivers passing by tonight on Sokolov Street near the murder scene testified to the indifference to such cases . No crowd gathered around the car in which Khalili Amal was shot to death. The drivers, who saw the flashing police lights, just kept driving. “It’s not interesting to anyone anymore, not even to the police,” said one of the drivers who continued on his way.

The residents feel that murders have become routine. In the past two years, a dozen people have been murdered in Lod – but only two of the murders were solved – one, a case of a man who strangled his wife to death.

“The Population Doesn’t Cooperate”

So why can’t the police solve the murders? “Ask the Yamar Center,” says Police Commander Chief Superintendent Kedem. Yamar, the district’s flagship unit, is the unit that solved the Oshranko Family’s murder, the murder of the little girl, Rose and many other murders. But, in Lod, even the Yamar falls short.

The head of the Investigation Squad, Top Deputy Ofer Muallem, considered one of the Police’s best investigators, is familiar with the city inside and out.

“Our biggest problem is that we do not have strong intelligence capabilities and the population here does not cooperate with us,” admitted a source in the county police department. “We know who was killed, the residents know who the killer is, but during the investigations they remain silent. If you do not catch the killer red-handed, then you do not have the weapon he used and you can not get an indictment. “

Ultimately, the end result does not interest the residents or the city leaders. For them, the police are not trying hard enough. “The fact is that in Ramle, which is also a mixed Jewish-Arab city and is around the corner, there is order,” said Joseph, who lives in Lod.  Top regional officials are gradually seeing the city go from being a little headache to a big problem. That seem to be why they brought in the police reinforcements.

“Where they were yesterday?” one resident wondered, “and the big question, where will they be a week from now?”.

Lod Victim’s Father: This Has Nothing To Do With Family Honor

The family of Amal Halili from Lod who was shot to death in front of her daughter in her car last night rejected police assertions that she was killed for “family honor”.

“They are looking for a convenient excuse to close the case. Their goal is to work as little as possible,” said her sister to NRG Ma’ariv. Her father added: “It had nothing to do with Family Honor. The police have gone bankrupt”.

Nativ Nahmani | 10/05/2010 21:51 NRG

“The police are looking for a convenient excuse for this murder so they immediately claim that the motive is family honor, just as they say regarding most of the murders in our community, because they want to close cases”. Thus stated Amira Baaba , sister of Amal Khalili, who was killed last night in Lod, in an interview with  NRG Ma’ariv, this evening (Tuesday). Baaba, a lawyer, added “Their goal is to make the least of it.” The victim’s father, Ahmad, also responded harshly to the   police assessment: “What are they waiting for? The next murder? “.

The father insists that no one in their family is responsible for what happened. “She and her husband have been divorced for over a year. They are not in touch and we do not suspect his family. The rest of the family is her family, so what? Are we suspects now? … Her two brothers are lawyers, the third is a pharmacist and she herself was a respectable, well-educated woman.”

“The police want the solution to their  investigations to walk into their office”, the father added. “They determined that the murder was anhonor killing ten minutes after they arrived at the scene. The police have gone bankrupt … I’m glad that the response of the authorities was to bring a large police force here. The criminals here only understand force.”

A Drive-By Shooting

Khalili was shot last night while driving her car with her 15-year-old brother and her 8 year-old daughter. As they drove,  opened fire. One bullet lodged in her neck, causing her death.

Khalili, divorced with three children, filed a police complaint last month against her  ex-husband’s parents for harassment. However, police point out that the next day she canceled it and that no further complaints were filed.

Yesterday, the Chairman of Lod’s Administration Committee Retired Brigadier General Ilan Harari, called upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare a “root canal” in the city to strike back against rising crime in the streets.

According to Harari, this is a frightening reality that has become the daily routine of the city of Lod. “Almost every day the sounds of gunfire are heard repeatedly in variuos areas of the city, along with serious violations of public order and the rule of law. Bullying, harassment, threats, damage to property, reckless driving and assaults on passers-by have become routine features of life in the city day and night,” Harari wrote, adding:” It is obvious that the criminals are not worried about the police at all. “

Violence Takes No Holidays

In Crime in Israel on October 1, 2010 at 15:02

The holiday season in Israel has come to a close. But violence never took a holiday. Here are a few poignant examples.

Jerusalem: A Young Man Stabbed and Critically Wounded in an Ultra-Orthodox Neighborhood

Updated 01:04 01/10/2010
Sagi Shir

A serious injury during the celebration of Simchat Torah: A man of about 20 was stabbed last night (Thursday) in the Ultra- Orthodox Makor Baruch neighborhood in Jerusalem. An MDA team called to the scene evacuated the young man in critical condition to Shaare Zedek Hospital in the city. The background of the event is probably criminal.

The man was stabbed once in the groin; then the attacker fled from the scene towards the Peqi’in Street neighborhood. A Mobile MDA Unit that tried to rescue him was attacked as it reached the neighborhood, delaying the evacuation. Police are searching for the suspect in the stabbing.

This is not the only assault case reported during the days of Succot.

Ashdod police yesterday arrested three minors aged 16 and 17 on suspicion of attacking two minors aged 13 and 14 the evening before for no apparent reason . The minors are patients at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, one in moderate condition and one in good condition. They reported that they were sitting on a bench in the city when a group of teenagers approached them and began to attack them “for no reason.”

A similar criminal event took place last night in Holon in which  two minors, ages 16 and 17, are suspected of forcing a 12-year-old boy into a vehicle in front of a city garden and driving off. The police managed to seize the two men and rescue the boy, who was not severely injured in the incident.

Another unfortunate case took place on Wednesday, in which two people were killed and three others  injured near a cafe in Qalansawa cafe nearby, apparently after unknown persons opened fire towards a group of people sitting there.

In another incident an 18 year-old was killed by gunfire during a brawl in the Bedouin village Laqia in the Negev.

And here are a few more “holiday season ” headlines from Y-Net:

Suspected: A 16 year-old youth sexually assaulted a 6 year-old boy in Afula.
The youth, who works as a guard at a construction site, is suspected of committing indecent acts on the boy – who lives nearby. The child was taken to a hospital for medical examination.

Murder suspects arrested in Abu Gosh, “More blood will flow”
Four members of the Jaber Clan were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Hassan Othman last month. Police suspect that the murder was ‘blood revenge’ for the murder of a boy from the Jaber Family. The village fears more bloodshed.

Father Murders Mother and Says “I’ll Kill Myself”.
“We wanted to save Mom, explained the children of Munib Zhong and A. Ibrahim from Smi, a village in the Western Galilee, who witnessed the horror… The husband climbed up the ladder to the balcony – and stabbed his wife to death

Suspicion: A man stabbed after causing a child to drop his hot dog (Rishon L’Zion)

Suspected: Cop convicted of sexual harassment sexually assaulted female drivers
A Special Patrol officer (a resident of Kiryat Malachi) dismissed from his post following his conviction for harassing a female soldier, was arrested on suspicion of attacking women who were driving alone, signaling them to stop because of disrepair and attempting to sexually assault them.

Mother threw her two children from the 4th floor and jumped. They survived. (Tel-Aviv)

Four year-old injured from shots fired at a house in Tira

14 Year-Old Complains: My husband attacked me even though I was pregnant
Husband suspected of assaulting the young wife on numerous occasions, in addition to suspected statutory rape.

Indictment: Bnei Brak Resident Serving in the 8200 Elite Computer Unit held in sexual harassment of young girl

Caretakers sexually abused mentally-ill patients
Adi Revach and Orly Wanda from Pardes  Hannah are accused of causing inmates to commit a series of serious sex offenses,

Man suspected of raping an 11 year-old girl in the succah that stood at the Tomb of Rabbi Meir in Tiberias

16 year-old admitted that he murdered 14-year-old  over a cigarette (Beersheba)

Beersheba murder: A boy of 15 stabbed to death in a fight

Guess it’s time to get back to work…

Predators On-Line: When Virtual Becomes Reality

In Children, Crime in Israel on February 5, 2010 at 02:22

Internet predators & pedophiles chat in Hebrew too

Parents in Israel are used to fighting for the security of their children, but the battlefield keeps shifting. Not that the days of parents warning children to stay away from suspicious packages and people wearing strange clothing that might conceal bombs.  However, a glance at the latest news or the latest edition of David Morris’s blog Tzedek-Tzedek (see below) reminds us that there are  dangers lurking in what should be the  safest places on Earth- right inside our homes.

Yes, Virginia, Internet predators and pedophiles chat in Hebrew too.

Parenting has always been hard work. It used to be that at least we could fantasize that if we locked our children in our homes and threw away the keys, they’d be safe.  Now, the Internet brings the outside world right in. We can no longer afford the illusion that we’re in control, that we can somehow keep our children and teens blissfully ignorant AND out of harm’s way.

My mother tells me that the first time she gave me permission to ride my bicycle off of our street, she stood by the window crying until she saw me riding home. By the time I came in the door, she had taken out an onion and started cutting it so I would think her tears were caused by the onion, not her fears for my safety. We all have to find our “onions”, our ways to keep from infecting our children with our fears. But we owe it to them to give them the tools they need to be as free AND as safe as possible in the world they live in— the Cyber world as well as the “real” one.

So, here’s a place to begin: some advice to share with the youngsters in your life about staying safe while chatting online

  • Be careful who you trust. Remember, no matter how long you have been in contact with them or how nice they seem, online friends are really strangers. And they may not be who they say they are.
  • Meeting in person someone you met online can be dangerous. If you feel that you ‘have to’ meet, tell your parent or caretaker and take them with you – at least the first time you meet. Meet only in a public place in daytime. And do not leave with them without informing your parent or caretaker where you are going and with whom.
  • Keep personal information personal. Your name, address, telephone number, mobile number, private email address, and picture: These are examples of personal information that can end up in the hands of people you don’t want to have it. Check your profile and remove personal information. Don’t share this information with people you meet online, even if they ask you for it. Let them know that it’s a matter of your safety. If they insist, that shows that they don’t care about you. Are these that kind of people you want as friends?
  • When in doubt, log out: Get away from an uncomfortable situation in a chat room by logging out or by changing your screen name.
  • Think twice before you answer private messages. Private chats can end up being more personal than you might want. It can be harder to end a conversation in a private chat than on a public chat. If you are on a private chat and something makes you uncomfortable, trust your intuition. If something feels wrong, something IS wrong. Log out.
  • Use a nickname, not your real name. Try to choose a nickname that is less likely to attract the type of attention you might feel uncomfortable dealing with.
  • Look out for your friends: Speak up if you think that they are at risk.
  • Tell your parent or caretaker if someone or something happens online that makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
  • Go to www.chatdanger.com to learn important online self-defense skills like how to keep/save a copy of the conversation in chat , how to block/ignore people and how to report something you feel uncomfortable about.

OK everyone! Grab those onions, go in there and help somebody you love stay safe.

How Many Kids Can One Man Abuse?

Police lifted a gag order Monday detailing the arrest of 33-year-old Avinoam Braverman, of Tel Aviv, alleged to have contacted some 1,000 minors, engaging some in virtual sex in front of web cams and of raping, sodomizing and molesting others, as well as possession and distribution of child pornography,…http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=167472
In a society which promotes loyal monogamy as being the ideal sexual relationship – one partner for each of us –  the popular assumption is that one pedophile will also approximate to one child victim.

Very few of us are aware that research has consistently shown that (and this is staggering) around one in four girls and one in six boys has been sexually abused by the age of 18. (Russell, 1986; confirmed also Gorey & Leslie 1997; Finkelhor, Hotaling, Lewis & Smith 1989; Brier & Elliot, 2003).
And in the sole major survey amongst Jewish orthodox women (Yehuda et al, 2007), 26% of the women surveyed reported sexual abuse, with 16% reporting the abuse occurred by the age of thirteen. In other words, sexual abuse of females is consistent with the findings for the general population. (Some have suggested that the number of male victims may be higher in the orthodox community, because access is far less restricted in orthodox communities than for males on females – but there has been no scientific survey yet on this).

This startlingly high incidence of child abuse victims, in all populations, however does not mean that this proportion of adults (between one in four, to one in six) are pedophiles.

There have been various distinctions drawn (R.Weiss, 2009) on the characteristics of pedophiles, including these categories:

  1. Dedicated or Fixated Child Offender – adults who are usually solely sexually attracted to children.
  2. Situational or Regressed Child Offender – adults whose sexual attentions wander to children, often due to extraneous pressures.
  3. Sexually Addicted Offender – exhibiting similar compulsive traits to substance or gambling addictions, some adults have increased and obsessive needs for sexual stimulation, sometimes including relationships with children.

The majority (85%) of child sex offenders are in the second category; these offenders can often be successfully treated through therapy. Sexual addiction (category 3) is a quite common psychological condition affecting between 3-5 % of the general population; very few of these people resort to non-consensual sex; treatment for this addictive behavior has been often found successful.

The most damaging pedophiles, in terms of numbers of victims, are the dedicated or fixated child offenders; they will often achieve positions of access, trust and authority over children, such as becoming sports coaches, summer camp or youth group supervisors, babysitters, clerics or educators – specifically in order to gain unfettered access to their victims. Some will even marry a partner who already has children, for this same reason. The perpetrators develop sophisticated ‘grooming’ techniques (sometimes in collusion with other pedophiles) and in practice they know that only very few children will ever register formal complaints against these perpetrators (sometimes the children do not become consciously aware that they were even abused until they reach adulthood themselves), so the numbers of their victims over a pedophile’s ‘career’ (which can continue through their senior years) can reach staggering proportions. There is little prospect of these pedophiles being ‘cured’ by available therapies, and recidivism (repeat offense) rates are high (around 75% of convicted child sex offenders).

A study by Abel et al32 of 377 nonincarcerated, non-incest-related pedophiles, whose legal situations had been resolved and who were surveyed using an anonymous self-report questionnaire, found that heterosexual pedophiles on average reported abusing 19.8 children and committing 23.2 acts, whereas homosexual pedophiles had abused 150.2 children and committed 281.7 acts

Another study (Baker) concluded that men who chose girls, generally victimized relatively few while a man who preys on non-related boys “will victimize as many as 280 male victims”.

These studies confirm law enforcement reports about the serial nature of the crime, the large number of children abused by each pedophile, and the underreporting of assaults.

What appears different from the ‘classic’ behavior patterns of pedophiles in the Braverman case is the alleged extensive use of the internet and messaging technologies, and his targeting of multiple young girls.

However, that Braverman was apparently able to readily reach so many actual and prospective victims, seemingly without multiple reports by either the child victims or their parents to the authorities – is deeply shocking, but unfortunately not unusual.

Another Self-Defense Success

In Crime in Israel on February 2, 2010 at 01:59

Don't Touch Billboard

You know me. I can’t resist a good old-fashioned self-defense success story. No glitter. No high-kicking, face mauling kung-fu moves. Just a woman who refused to be manhandled, a couple of kick-ass bystanders and the Boys (& Girls)-in-Blue hauling the perp off to jail.Here’s one I picked up this evening from the Tel-Aviv police blotter. Share it with someone you love.

Chase On Foot Nabs Sex Offender
01/02/2010 10:16:00

At about 17:00 yesterday,  a resident of Bnei Brak, born in 1986, filed a complaint. She reported that, as she crossed the road at the junction of Ben Gurion and Jabotinsky in Ramat Gan, a man touched her on the intimate places on the front of her body and began to flee.  The complainant, assisted by bystanders, chased him down and held him until the police arrived. The suspect,  born in 1980 and a resident of northern Israel, was arrested and was taken this morning to the Municipal Court in Tel Aviv. The investigation will be continued by Merchav Dan* (* The Tev-Aviv police district responsible for Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak and Givataim).

I love a fairytale ending. Don’t you?

A Tough Job:Who’s Going To Do It?

In Crime in Israel on December 4, 2009 at 04:17

Site of police officer shooting

Are Municipal Police in Israel's Future? And where are WE in this picture?

On Tuesday morning, I attended the day-long First International Safe Cities Conference, at Tel-Aviv’s David International Hotel.  I was officially there on behalf of the Guardian Angels: all decked out in my red beret and jacket and black multi-pocketed pants filled with information pamphlets. One of the burning questions of the day was whether Israel should reform the current system of policing to allow municipalities to have their own police departments.

Hagai Peled from Israel’s Internal Security Ministry represented the point of view of the National Police. In short, no one is as qualified as they to do the jobs of both crime prevention and dealing with anti-social behavior, that public concerns about crime are not consistent with the rate of crime reflected in police statistics and that municipalities have to deal with too many “local groups” whose pressure could influence the conduct and use of the police. He recommended improved cooperation between police and municipalities, laws that would allow increase police effectiveness, changes in the courts to make them tougher on crime, increased use of anti-crime technologies and increased use of local patrols but without police powers.

Shlomo Buchbut, Mayor of Maalot Tarshiha and chairman of the Union of Local Authorities, pointed out that when more that 62% of the population ranks fear of violence and crime as their number one concern, it’s time for the police to take a second look at their statistics. I would have loved to have offered him the example I saw on The Day of Struggle Against Violence Against Women last week, when, despite the fact that the police report that there have been only seven domestic violence-related murders in Israel this year, we read a Memorial List consisting of 15 names. That is apparently because the police only consider it a “domestic violence-related murder” if the relationship between the two is that of a couple. If a son kills his mother or sister or a grandparent kills a grandchild, for example, that isn’t part of the count.

Avi Naim, Chairman of the Security Committee and mayor of Beit Aryeh, pooh-poohed such examples of the effectiveness of the National Police as the reduction in car thefts (which he attributed to the building of the separation wall) and said that the National Police have failed in their mission when it comes to all kinds of crimes that hurt citizens’ quality of life.

He criticized current law enforcement, i.e. the “culture of laziness” among police officers and the light sentences given to criminals and, even more so, the lack of effective prevention.

In response to Mr. Peled’s concerns about “local influences”, he said that, unlike the national parliamentary system in which representative are selected indirectly, mayors have to pass a test of public confidence every five year called an election, which decreases the chance of politicization of the police. He said local governments must be the nerve center for both day-to-day life (personal security) and large-scale emergencies (public safety) but that they must also understand the level of responsibility involved and provide the training and integration with the National Police to make the system effective and efficient.

There were several other fine presenters. I especially enjoyed hearing Joyce Kaufman of WFTL in South Florida and her refreshingly Right Wing, outspoken First Amendment, pro-Israel and anti-crime rhetoric.

For me, the contrast between Joyce’s emphasis on personal responsibility and the Israelis’ relative paternalism was really striking. Do we, as citizens, play no part in the fight for personal security? What about our  spirit of activism, of volunteerism, of making a difference in their own communities? In order to effect change, efforts like the Hebrew University Students “Take Back The Night” March (see article below) rely on getting people up, out and angry enough to DO something . The police, whether national or local, may be essential in the fight against crime and violence, but they cannot be everywhere and do everything— and they should not be expected to. It’s time we “armed ourselves”, not with guns, but with knowledge, skills and a “can do” spirit, to refuse to allow our communities or ourselves to fall victim to intimidation, crime and violence.

The police can assist us, but they cannot empower us. That is something we must do for ourselves.

Students want to stop fear in Jerusalem

Students at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus protested against the growing phenomenon of sexual harassment and attacks in the area. To increase awareness of the problem of “paralysis”, they organized a march along the path associated with incidents of harassment.

Eli Mandelbaum and Shlomit Sharvit
YNet  02.12.09, 17:05

“Leaving the dormitories on Mt. Scopus and French Hill in the evening is a very difficult decision for any woman”, explains Hamutal Cohen from the organization ALEH (College Without Harassment). ” When walking back to the dorms from the university, women generally have to prepare themselves to absorb degrading and humiliating catcalls. Many students prefer to take the bus just to avoid the expected encounters with the men that show up in the area every night.”

The procession, that took place under the slogan “Women Want The Night Back “, was held out of a desire to restore the security of thousands of individual students living in dorms in the area adjacent to the university and to place the issue of sexual harassment on the agenda in order to find a solution to the situation.

Women Want The Night Back
“The current preventive actions by the municipality and the civil guard are important, but not sufficient to prevent incidents. The feeling is that the university is not doing enough to tackle the problem. There is a wall of silence around the issue,” says Cohen. “We hope that raising awareness will encourage women to join the Civil Guard and to defend themselves as a way of empowerment and coping with the fears that accompany us as women.

She said that violence against women is a broad social problem that is not restricted to a particular sector and does not remain only within the house, as most people mistakenly think.

“It accompanies women on their way to university and on their way home, in their workplaces and in their classrooms, “she explained.” Its manifestations are not only physical but also verbal, mental and emotional. Violence will not go away unless we fight it, men and women together, and women’s safety and security cannot be assured unless we stop all elements and aspect of these hate crimes. “

Hebrew University sent the following response: “The university administration is aware of the problem and has taken steps to drastically reduce the number of complaints. The University’s Security Department has added security patrol vehicles that move along the axis of movement of students at night. In addition, the Security Department has asked the Israel Police to increase the number of patrols in areas under their supervision in the area in question. The Jerusalem Municipality has also increased the lighting in the area. The University requests that any female student that is harassed issue an official complaint with the Security Department to help them eradicate these incidents.

The Forest For The Trees

In Crime in Israel on October 30, 2009 at 15:47

'Attempted' Rape'--- Another Name For Victory?

I don’t get it.

Here’s this great story (I translated it for you below) about a woman who fought back against a violent sexual predator . She actually managed, not only to survive, but to prevent herself from being raped. So what is the news story about? The turd that tried to rape her.

Sure. He’s a total jerk and the judges should throw “the book” at him. (Don’t get me started on the pathetically short jail sentences for sex crimes in this country…)

However, with all due respect to the reporter, the real story is the unsung 27 year-old mom who kept her wits about her. Now, SHE could teach us a thing or two about what real-life self-defense against these kind of predators is all about.

Like other professionals, those of us who spend significant time learning and teaching martial arts and self-defense, are sometimes guilty of missing the forest for the trees. We have such a great time working out together, playing with new ideas and debating about which techniques are the best for “this situation” or “that situation”, we forget that, while not visually impressive or demanding, simple and obvious solutions are often what work best.

As my friend and IMPACT mentor, Martha Thompson of Chicago IMPACT posted this week: “I think the important message from Pauline Bart and Patricia O’Brien, (in the study) Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies has been confirmed by follow-up research by Sarah Ullman, Jocelyn Hollander, and others: if attacked, respond immediately, yell, and use multiple strategies. ”

Martha also shared  a systematic  but unpublished follow-up study collected in the early 1980s from 50 graduates of a full-contact self-defense training program, the predecessor of today’s IMPACT, who were attacked after they had received training. According to this data:

  • 56% knocked-out or disabled their attacker
  • 34% escaped from their attacker or he ran away
  • 6% lost property
  • 4% chose to submit because they felt it was the safest choice

The majority  used only one technique before the attacker was knocked-out, disabled, ran away or the woman escaped,  most commonly, a simple palm heel strike to the nose or  knee to the groin.

Martha concluded: “In other words, the specific techniques are most likely less important than dealing with the situation immediately, using one’s voice, and using the tools one has until the attack stops.”

All of which brings us back to our story. This woman fought. She yelled. She reasoned with her attacker. The fact that the indictment  claims that her saying “I’m pregnant” was the straw that broke the back of this assault, does not in any way prove that her determined, indefatigable resistance up until that point was not the real underlying reason for her victory. In fact, the research mentioned above tends to support the premise that it was her swift and multi-pronged strategy that won the day.

Though the horrific and prolific stories of violent crimes obscure the fact that successful  self-defense and violence prevention are common , if you make the effort to look for them,  you will find them. I, myself, have made a fetish of it, combing the Internet for new stories to add to my Self-Defense Success Stories collection.Those stories remind me that there are plenty of us out there who manage to fight back and survive using presence of mind, animal instinct and a swift strike to a sensitive region.

So, inspire yourself. Get started looking for YOUR favorite stories. And please share them. As Clint Eastwood would say: “Go ahead. Make my day.”

Indictment: He Attempted to Rape A Woman In Front Of Her Toddler Daughter.

Gilad Grossman, Walla! News Editor

Monday, September 7, 2009 12:26

Chaim Dohan of Tel-Aviv was indicted for, two weeks ago, following a woman in the center of the city, helping her carry her two year-old daughter’s stroller and, then, assaulting her and attempting to rape her. The complainant fought back against Dohan, attempted to call for help and claimed that she was pregnant.

An indictment was handed down today (Monday) in the Tel-Aviv Regional Court against 33 year-old Chaim Dohan from Tel-Aviv, for Attempted Rape, Indecent Assault and Unlawful Imprisonment.

The indictment alleges that, two weeks ago, Dohan went to a city supermarket where he noticed a 27 year-old woman shopping with her two year-old daughter. Afterward, Dohan followed the woman, helped her carry her child’s stroller to her apartment, and, once there, attacked her, threatened to injure her and attempted to rape her.

The indictment also alleges that the accused Dohan covered the woman’s nose and mouth to prevent her from screaming, pushed her into the apartment and, did all this, against her will.

The complainant fought with Dohan, tried to yell for help and claimed that she was pregnant. As a result of the accused’s actions, the complainant suffered an injury next to her eye.

As a result of the woman’s claims to be pregnant, Dohan decided not to continue and carry out his plans.

The day after the incident, Dohan threw away the shirt he had worn during the attempted rape so it would not be possible to tie him to the incident. The indictment also claims that Dohan turned to one of his friends to ask him to provide him with an alibi, in case the police succeeded in tying him to the event.

Similarly, it alleges that, over the last year, Dohan stalked three women in Bnei Brak and in Ramat Gan in order to access his ability to commit sexual crimes against them.

Israel’s Murderous Summer: The Great Motivator?

In Crime in Israel on September 4, 2009 at 16:20

Fear: Is that why these girls are in a kicking class, rather than a chorus line?

Fear: Is that why these girls are in a kicking class, rather than a chorus line?

Had a little trouble following the news in Israel this summer? Maybe you were using the wrong search terms. This summer, “war”, “terrorism” and “bombings” were out. Murder was in. Here’s a short sample of this summer’s “low”lights:

Jul 4 | 17-year-old admits to Ashdod stabbing

Jul 12 | Olga Borisov convicted of killing 4-year-old son
Mother who drowned her 4-year-old son not charged with murder due to her unstable mental condition.

Aug 02: Two killed in shooting at Tel Aviv gay center
15 others wounded in shooting spree; police launch manhunt for gunman

Aug 18 | 22-year-old Tira man killed by masked gunmen
Attackers flee the scene in thirteenth murder this month

Aug 20 | Man killed girlfriend, her daughter
Police apprehend 59-year-old suspect… gag order lifted on gruesome case.

Aug 23 | Teen suspected of killing dad turns himself in
15-year-old who allegedly stabbed his father in family argument…

Aug 28 |Tenant admits to killing Jerusalem landlord
Police say Avi Dar, who had a record of violence, is refusing to answer questions regarding his motive.

Aug 28 | 9 suspects charged in Karp murder
3 indicted on suspicion of killing 59-year-old in cold blood

What do all these cases have in common? Not much. They all took place in Israel. They all happened in the summer. And everyone blames the police, not that anyone  wants to DO anything about it…  A recent survey showed that most Israelis agreed that our police are undermanned and overworked but, underpaid?  No way would they agree to raise  paltry police salaries .  Motivate good cops to remain cops  or attract more and better candidates to the field? What for? Teachers, does this ring a bell?

Anyway, during our School’s-In Happening at our headquarters in Jerusalem, an Arabic-speaking BBC news team showed up to film. Their burning question was the same one I was asked the week before when my IMPACT Teens class in Tel-Aviv was filmed by the Knesset’s official TV channel: “Has the spate of high-profile murders in Israel this summer increased interest in enrollment?”

Well, it sure has increased MEDIA interest. But enrollees? Damned if we know. Yes, there is increased interest. And, of course, we are savvy enough to ask each and every interested party what brought her to our door.  So far, no one  has said: “Because of the stabbings (shootings, beatings) last week”. Still, much as we’d like to think that our hard work and their desire to be-all- that-they-can-be are what it takes to get them in the door, we can’t help but wonder.

Fear As Motivation

What’s really behind the walk-ins and the phone calls? Is it this summer’s screaming headlines?  And if fear is the motivator, what happens when life– and media attention— inevitably shift elsewhere? Will we be back to competing on a par with hip-hop and drawing classes? Or will that extra motivation to empower themselves and their daughters for a lifetime remain?

What do you think?