De Police

5 iyar 5776 Jerusalem

Last week I got off the 19 bus from Mt. Scopus at Safra Square – Shivtei Yisrael St., near the Municipality Building.  I started up the ramp to the Square, and two young Arabs standing by the curb started after me, one saying “Let’s go up here”. I was wary they might try to attack me. I feel a small tug at my backpack. Stopping and lowering it I see the outer small pocket where my phone and siddur are is open. One of the Arabs says to me, “We’re not thieves!” and keep walking up. I realize they are indeed thieves. I walk up, then come back to see they have returned to the bottom of the stairs, probably to await other victims.

I walk through the Square, thinking what to do. I see a cop with a small pack and a kippa walking into the Square. He is not on duty (that is why on foot), but I tell him what happened and he tells me to call 100 to report it and he will “go check it out.” I call 100 and the girl there does not recognize Jerusalem and the streets I am describing to her. She does not know where Safra Square is and the Police Antenna where the thieves are sitting under.

I guess the thieves were not concerned with the Police getting there too fast, though their headquarters were three blocks away. In any case the Arabs were two blocks away from the Old City, which if they walked into on foot, they would probably feel secure that the cops would not get out of their call to follow them.

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