Asylum seekers south Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Tel Aviv District Court last week sentenced 29-year-old Eritrean illegal
Ya’acub Bashir al- Fadel to eight years behind bars for killing 68- year-old Tel
Avivian Esther Galili last February and for attacks on three other passersby
whom he had encountered earlier that same evening while on a drunken
Fadel’s earlier victims were lucky. They escaped alive, if
battered and bruised. Galili, struck on the head, did not.
of the sentence was explained by the fact that Fadel is alone in this country,
isn’t known to have a prior criminal record and expressed
Surveillance cameras showed him assaulting Galili, then leaning
over the body. He claimed he tried to help her. Galili’s family says he
Fadel crossed into Israel illegally from Egypt. Nobody knows
precisely who he is and what his past was, criminal or otherwise.
Fadel was described in much of the media as a “Sudanese refugee.”
combination of adjectives is apparently geared to arouse sympathy, even
undeserved, and justify a derisory sentence that constitutes a travesty
Such subliminal sympathy perhaps accounts for the lethargy with
which the prosecution handled this case and its pronounced reluctance to
the sentence, despite the public shock and outcry.
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due to inebriation isn’t and shouldn’t be considered a mitigating
We expect all individuals to maintain control of their faculties.
surrender such control voluntarily, they must bear the full
An eight-year sentence – which, with a third-off,
could mean that Fadel might be back on our streets in little over five
constitutes an inadequate deterrent for others tempted to surrender
and go on lethal binges. It should not be necessary to stress that
respectable veteran Tel Avivian, shouldn’t have paid for Fadel’s bender
A higher, more proportionate price must be exacted for homicide,
particularly because too many of our cityscapes are being expropriated
law-abiding citizens. The Neveh Sha’anan section of Tel Aviv, where
murdered, is a case in point.
Much of this quarter has been all but
ripped out of the city and commandeered. It has become a near-lawless
ex-territorial entity where few Israelis dare to tread.
where the erstwhile central bus terminal once dominated, incongruously
“placid oasis.” Today it is alien, squalid and foul. This is Tel Aviv’s
dark underside – the city’s worst crime hotbed, incomparable to anything
elsewhere in the greater metropolitan area. Many scores of robberies and
rapes were reported there in the past year alone. Numerous others
Galili, slain on Rehov Hagra, around the corner from the home
she had inhabited for decades, was the last Israeli on her street. All
others had fled in panic; even illegals resident there fear for their
Ironically, on the very day in which Fadel’s sentence – widely
decried as preposterous – was handed down, the police belatedly opened a
in the area to restore a modicum of law and order to this anarchic
old Tel Aviv.
The police keeps warning about the proliferation of
particularly aggressive migrant-perpetrated crime around the old bus
repeatedly urges that the scourge be “thoroughly tackled” once and for
because it’s fast spiraling out of control.
But in all fairness, the
process of wresting the heart of yesteryear’s Tel Aviv back from the
felonies and seedy sordidness that have taken it over should not be left
exclusively to the local constabulary.
Central government must be
dynamically involved in helping reconquer these dangerous areas of Tel
and similar neighborhoods in Eilat and Arad – from those, notably
sub-Saharan illegals, who are abusively dominating them.
judiciary’s role here is indispensable too.
And inordinately light
punishment, unbefitting brutal crime, as in the case of Ya’acub Bashir
will make things worse – not better. We can only hope that the
appeal the outrageously inappropriate sentence handed down in this case –
its own sake, and for the critical wider deterrent value.
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