The Daily Life of Kawther Salam

  ..: The Israeli Police Commander who was attacked by the Settlers :..
May 8, 2003

The settlers were happy when Colonel Efraim Arditi replaced the Police commander Colonel Ish "Bono" Yamini at 1998 at the Police headquarter of Hebron.

The settlers worked hard to transfer Colonel Yamini from the Police headquarter of Hebron. They were using the Rightist PM Hanan Borat who wrote letters to the Police Ministry and the Prime Minister demanding them to throw the police commander from Hebron. The settlers filed several complaints against Yamini's policemen, who were investigated in some cases for breaking the law.

The fight between Ish Yamini and the settlers increased when Yamini opened hundreds of complaint files made by the Palestinians against breaking the law by the settlers, and he talked about that in the media. Colonel Yamini fought with the military commander Colonel Yigal Sharon when the settlers occupied the Palestinians houses at the old city of Hebron. Yamini decided to eject the settlers and implement the law, and Colonel Sharon had cuffed the Policemen hands. He was against using the law to evacuate the settlers. It was a challenge between the two commanders of the Police, Ish Yamini, and The IDF commander, Yigal Sharon. This had put an end to Yamini's work in Hebron. Colonel Sharon stranded the settlers and worked to transfer Yamini from Hebron to Hertzlia.

The short time of happiness was over when Colonel Arditi's policemen became involved in arresting Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who refused to be investigated by the police. Levinger had received several orders to appear before the police investigation unit, but ignored them all. This forced the police to arrest on him according to a court decision. The settlers beat the policemen and stoned them during their mission, some of the policemen were injured.

When Colonel Arditi finished his duties at Hebron, and he said to the press that most of settlers who live in Hebron are a group of criminals, he was harassed by the settlers who spat at him and damaged his cars wheels.

Efraim Arditi Between the Lines

During the mission of Colonel Arditi in Hebron, I had kept in contact with him. I didn't stop criticizing the settlers attacks and violations of the Law. I didn't stop criticizing the policemen behavior. In serious cases of violating the law I organized publicity with my friend, the journalist Ada Ushpiz from Ha'aretz newspaper, who wrote and published strong criticism of the police and settler activities in Hebron, and the continued law violations of the settlers.

Colonel Arditi knew that I was behind what Ushpiz published in Ha'aretz, the same like he knew that there is no justice under the military law, which based on strict tyranny orders toward Palestinians, but he was a police commander and he divided between his belief and his work, and he kept in good relationship with me.

Arditi helped several times to send his policemen to investigate my stories, he made a tour with his officers and visited the Zahdeh's house behind the Avraham Avino settlement when the settlers threw hundreds kilos of garbage at the family's house.

Arditi was listening to my complaints all the time, he made an umbrella in front of the police entrance were the Palestinians could wait behind the police closed doors. He helped me personally by sending me his policemen to stop the IDF harassment or identify them, even when some Palestinian construction workers at Beit Hadassa caused some problems he send his policemen to make arrest on them.

At least Arditi ordered his policemen to accept my complaints, and demand them to open the closed door for me. He said all the time "You deserve the UN Peace Price".

Under Arditi's mission I criticized the breaking of the law by both sides, the settlers and the Palestinians. I investigated the issue of stealing the Israeli cars by Palestinian, this made Arditi keep in more respect my journalistic work.

When Arditi's mother died, I visited his family's house with a friend of mine from the CPT. It was just a human relationship.

The Lillian Hellman Prize reminded me of what Arditi told me: "You deserve the International Prizes for Peace".

Colonel Efraim "Effi" Arditi

Effi and his commanding officer during a press Conference

Kawther and one of Effi's officers after a meeting complaining against crimes commited by IDF personnel and settlers.

This farmer woman is being thrown out of her land by the Israeli police. This is the police mission under the occupation law. Behind right is the settler who incited this theft for his own benefit.

This is in front of the police investigation unit in Hebron, where Palestinians go to file complaints. The doors are always closed. Petentents must wait outside, sometimes up to 8 hours, for their complaints to be resolved, like here. If they go, the complaint will be dropped by the police. This was before the second Intifada started. Since then, anybody coming to this area will be shot on sight by IDF snpers. It has been designated a death area.