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“As Sodom we were, Gomorrah we imagined”

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Anat Gopstein’s latest column in the Shabbat weekly Gilui Da’at”:

“As Sodom we were, Gomorrah we imagined”

A ring from the mobile. “Anat, the Arab attacked me again!” He called me and started telling me with a heartbreaking cry what he’s currently going through. He took a walk with his dog near the home, saw his ex coming towards him with his children, children whom he had not seen for several months.

The children were so happy to come to him, calling out “Aba, Aba”. They called him that, and he was so excited, his longing for them washed over him. He approached to hug his daughter. “She’s not your daughter”, screamed his ex’s “partner”, and started attacking him very violently. This wasn’t the first time he attacked him. The court had convicted him already, and he sat for a year in jail for the attack. This, apart from another 10 years he sat for other offenses. The children’s father had still not recovered from the previous attack, and he was forced to leave his job due to the injury and everything that went with it. And here, now, the Arab was released only a number of months ago and he’s already attacking him again.

An hour before, we had a conference call together with Eli Cohen, our lawyer. We were trying to think of ways to cope with a dangerous criminal who was raising his kids. How do we put an end to the parental alienation, and lead to a father’s being able to see his children?

How do we wake up the welfare and police authorities and demand justice, even a little bit for him. It’s hard to put the frustration and the rage into words. My last words to sum up the conversation were “You murdered, and shall you inherit?!” There’s a question mark and an exclamation point here, I could put ten points and marks of each kind, and this still wouldn’t manage to express the pain.

Still upset. He has already called me from the ambulance, telling me of another attack. He was brought in a panic to the hospital, he needed several stitches in his head and underwent an operation the day after. When he was released from the hospital, surprisingly – and maybe not really so surprisingly – he was interrogated under warning by the police! They made accusations against him and slapped his face – why did he dare to defend himself! They expected him to act like a Xtian and turn the other cheek.

“I see you hit him back”, the interrogator said to him, and ‘ruled’ that this was a mutual dispute. Not a violent attack of an attacker against a victim, but a “mutual dispute”. The court, who had in the past convicted him and put a distancing order on him – ruled to release the attacker. The physical pain remains, but it does not hurt as much as the mental pain.

And above all, the feeling of helplessness comes up about the weakness of the law enforcement apparatus. “One day he’ll kill me”, he told me. As I said before – “You murdered, and also will inherit”.

I have no more words, they simply don’t have the power to express what is really going on. It is hard to see the injustice and the distortion of morality.

As Sodom we were, Gomorrah we imagined… How much longer?!

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