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Micheky Rosenfeld

Ariel Karabelnicoff, Kantor Kraus, Mickey Rosenfeld, Jessica Cogan


by Rhonda Spivak, Sept 29, 2017

"The old City [of Jerusalem] is the most highly protected place in the whole of the Middle East," said  Mickey Rosenfeld,  Israeli national  spokesman to the Foreign Press , who gave an interesting and informative security briefing to a packed audience of  about 200 people at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. Rosenfeld's talk was put on by the Jewish National Fund, and sponsored by the by Larry and Tova Vickar of the Vickar Automotive Group and the Asper Foundation.
"We have to ensure that no major attack takes place," Rosenfeld said of protecting the old city, noting that there are some 3500 police officers ( including operations, intelligence, undercover, special patrol, and border police units)who protect the Western Wall, Temple Mount and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  According to Rosenfeld there are 320 cameras in the Old City that enable Israeli police to see terrorists when they approach the Old City. He added that security is important especially during Passover, when there are 100,00 people who come to pray at the Western Wall and at the same time there are 40,000 Muslims who come to pray at the Temple Mount.
The British born Rosenfeld, an engaging speaker who is used to being in the eye of the storm,  noted that Israelis one of the safest countries in the world in which to visit or live. There are several reasons for this which include up to date technology, rapid response, a proactive policy to prevent potential terror attacks , outreach to Muslim and Christian communities as well as well trained, equipped and dedicated police officers.
When there are riots in Jerusalem, there are special police unites on the Temple Mount and police respond with non-lethal weapons, stun grenades , and tear gas, according to  Rosenfeld, who  at age 22,  joined the Israel National Police Counter-Terrorism Unit and stayed there for ten years. He said there are some 198,000 Arabs out of 800,000 people who live in the greater Jerusalem area, and unfortunately ".01% or .02% will carry out an attack."
 Rosenfeld said that "Almost every night there are between 10-20 attempted terror attacks" which are successfully foiled, and he added that he begins every day by going over the overnight anti-terrorist operations.
Altogether there are  29,000 police officers  throughout Israel, who deal with a variety of threats. From the North, there is the possibility of Hezbollah infiltration, and ISIS fighters "who could literally walk across the border, it is so close." In Sinai, "there are a lot of ISIS militants, and from Gaza there are  the threat of rockets. 
Rosenfeld spoke of the example of an Israeli Arab working for the Israeli telephone company who committed an attack and  the police began understanding that there was a lot of incitement to murder on  Palestinian social media. He indicated that young Israeli Arabs and Palestinians are incited on social media to attack Israeli civilians and then the attacks play out soon after. Rosenfeld showed images of  an Arab with a knife and the Dome of the Rock in the background, which encourage Palestinian youth to conduct knife attacks. He also showed footage of Palestinian youth with knives about to carry out an attack and  footage of the police killing one terrorist who was coming at an officer with a knife. He showed footage of improvised weapons that the police found with Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem, which he had received from weapons making factories that the  Israeli police had uncovered in Judea and Samaria. 
"Our response time to any incident is four to seven minutes," Rosenfled noted, after indicating that "Our patrol officers know which direction suspects are going and what they are wearing."
More than 10% of the Israeli police are non-Jewish," Rosenfeld emphasized, which include Arab, Bedouin and Druze police. "A local Arab resident living in Lod can file a complaint to an Israeli Arab police officer."  Moreover, "our police officers give lectures in Arab schools" and this gives students a sense of what the police do, added Rosenfeld ,who took a first degree in Middle Eastern studies and a second in business management.
Although terrorism makes up only 20% of violent incidents (as compared to criminal activity) in the rest of Israel, in Jerusalem terrorism makes up 80% of violent acts. During the current "knife intifada" 42 Israelis plus one tourist and one foreign worker have been killed, in attacks in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and Hebron.
According to Rosenfeld a typical terrorist is  ages 20-30, and clean shaven , wearing jeans. Thirty four terrorist attacks have been committed by females.
As for ISIS, Rosenfeld indicated that there have been one or two attacks in Tel-Aviv carried out by Israeli Arabs affiliated with ISIS. But on the whole ISIS has not successfully taken root in Israel. Suspected potential ISIS terrorists are prevented by Israeli security form leaving the country, and they are tracked through social media, such as facebook.
A veteran of the IDF's Givate Brigade, Rosenfeld indicated he is responsible for over 1000 foreign media out
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.