Don’t hide - fight, Jerusalem mayor urges Bri­tons

Marlborough Express - - WORLD -

IS­RAEL: The leader of one of the world’s most con­flict-riven cities has ques­tioned of­fi­cial UK po­lice ad­vice to ‘‘run, hide, tell’’ dur­ing ter­ror at­tacks and has sug­gested Bri­tons should take on ji­hadists to save lives.

Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, said peo­ple should ‘‘en­gage’’ the en­emy di­rectly. He also claimed that Lon­don was more danger­ous than his own city af­ter four at­tacks in the cap­i­tal in less than six months, in­clud­ing Fri­day’s bomb­ing at Par­sons Green.

‘‘When I fly here, I pray to safely come back home to Jerusalem.’’

The Is­raeli politi­cian in­di­cated that Europe had been ‘‘soft’’ with ex­trem­ist plot­ters and said UK po­lice should be rou­tinely armed and will­ing to carry out more pro­fil­ing of sus­pects.

‘‘The phase that Europe’s go­ing through now, we went through 15-20 years ago,’’ said Barkat dur­ing a trip to Lon­don last week.

‘‘We went through this phase of naive­ness [sic] and wish­ing that things will pass. Well, they don’t.

‘‘If you don’t take ac­tion and re­think how to en­gage with it in a smart way, it’s go­ing to con­tinue.’’

Se­nior fig­ures in Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence and anti-ter­ror­ist polic­ing have warned that the threat from Isis and other Is­lamist groups will last for ‘‘at least’’ a gen­er­a­tion.

Tipped by some as a fu­ture prime min­is­ter, Barkat be­lieves peo­ple some­times need to stand their ground un­til po­lice ar­rive.

‘‘We train our public to en­gage [the ter­ror­ists],’’ said the mayor. ‘‘Even if you are risk­ing your life, en­gage - be­cause you are sav­ing oth­ers.

‘‘Some­times you see Jerusalemites with a gui­tar, with a stick, with a broom ... en­gage, en­gage, en­gage.’’

Barkat said about a third of ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Jerusalem were foiled by the public rather than po­lice.

In 2015 the mayor made head­lines him­self when he sub­dued a Pales­tinian man try­ing to stab a Jewish vic­tim.

Barkat con­ceded that Is­raelis might have more ‘‘self-con­fi­dence’’ about tak­ing on an at­tacker be­cause most will have com­pleted a pe­riod of com­pul­sory mil­i­tary ser­vice.

But his ad­vice to Bri­tain is not with­out prece­dent. Dur­ing the Lon­don Bridge at­tack in June, Ig­na­cio Echev­er­ria, a Span­ish banker, helped to save a woman af­ter try­ing to fight off the ter­ror­ists with a skate­board.

Echev­er­ria, 39, who was even­tu­ally over­whelmed and fa­tally stabbed, was posthu­mously awarded one of Spain’s high­est hon­ours.

‘‘He prob­a­bly saved many lives be­cause you slow down the ter­ror­ists,’’ said Barkat.

In Amer­ica, the FBI ad­vises the public to ‘‘run, hide, fight’’ - en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to con­front an at­tacker and ‘‘act with ag­gres­sion’’ if lives are at im­mi­nent risk.

Con­tro­ver­sially, Barkat ad­vo­cated pro­fil­ing - which might dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fect Mus­lims - to catch ter­ror­ists early.

- Sun­day Times

Ac­quit­tal sparks protests

Noisy demon­stra­tors dis­rupted shop­ping at up­scale sub­ur­ban malls yes­ter­day and later marched through a pop­u­lar dis­trict of bars and restau­rants to protest a white St Louis po­lice of­fi­cer’s ac­quit­tal in the killing of a black man, but the sec­ond day of protests was peace­ful fol­low­ing spo­radic van­dal­ism and vi­o­lence a night ear­lier. A few hun­dred peo­ple shouted slo­gans such as ‘‘black lives mat­ter’’ and ‘‘it is our duty to fight for our free­dom’’ as they marched through West County Cen­tre mall in Des Peres to de­cry the judge’s ver­dict clear­ing ex-of­fi­cer Ja­son Stock­ley of first-de­gree mur­der in the 2011 shoot­ing of An­thony La­mar Smith. No ar­rests were re­ported at any of the demon­stra­tions.

Work on war crimes probe

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil is putting the fi­nal touches on a res­o­lu­tion that would au­tho­rise UN in­ves­ti­ga­tors to help Iraq col­lect ev­i­dence to pros­e­cute ex­trem­ists from the Is­lamic State group for pos­si­ble war crimes. A coun­cil diplo­mat, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause ne­go­ti­a­tions are pri­vate, said yes­ter­day the coun­cil hopes to vote next Thurs­day. The draft res­o­lu­tion would ask Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res to es­tab­lish an in­ves­tiga­tive team to as­sist Iraq in pre­serv­ing ev­i­dence ‘‘that may amount to war crimes, crimes against hu­man­ity and geno­cide’’ com­mit­ted by IS. Iraqi For­eign Min­is­ter Ibrahim al-Jaa­fari wrote to Guter­res last month say­ing it was work­ing on a draft res­o­lu­tion with Bri­tain. Hu­man rights lawyer Amal Clooney had urged Iraq’s prime min­is­ter in March to send a let­ter seek­ing UN as­sis­tance.

Is­raeli air force founder dies

Mitchell Flint, an Amer­i­can avi­a­tor who helped form the Is­raeli Air Force in 1948 and served in Is­rael’s first fighter squadron has died. He was 94. Flint, a former US Navy fighter pi­lot, died yes­ter­day in Los An­ge­les of nat­u­ral causes, said his son, Michael Flint. Flint was one of the found­ing mem­bers of ‘‘Machal,’’ a group of non-Is­raelis who fought in the 1948 Arab-Is­raeli War. He was one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the Is­raeli Air Force’s first fighter squadron and helped train Is­rael’s first mil­i­tary pilots, his son said. Flint and other mem­bers of the Machal had flown in Ger­man planes that were cap­tured dur­ing World War II and cov­ered the Nazi in­signia with Stars of David. He flew in re­built Messer­schmitts, Ger­many’s main fighter plane dur­ing World War II, as well as Mus­tangs and Spit­fires.

Tu­nisians take to streets

Hun­dreds of Tu­nisians protested yes­ter­day in the streets of the cap­i­tal against a widely con­tested new law that grants of­fi­cials from the former regime in­volved in cor­rup­tion amnesty from pros­e­cu­tion. Tu­nisia’s par­lia­ment on Thurs­day ap­proved a law pro­tect­ing of­fi­cials ac­cused of graft dur­ing the rule of au­to­crat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, trig­ger­ing an­gry protests by the op­po­si­tion and ac­tivists. Wav­ing flags and ban­ners say­ing ‘‘No to for­give­ness’’, ‘‘Re­sist­ing against mafia rule’’, around 1500 peo­ple marched through the cap­i­tal’s cen­tral Av­enue Habib Bour­guiba in the com­pany of op­po­si­tion lead­ers. Af­ter months of protests, the law was amended from an orig­i­nal draft which would have also granted amnesty to cor­rupt busi­ness­men.

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