The Case of David Mizrahi: How Would You Have Ruled?

UPDATE: Eilat area remains under heightened terrorist alert.


The scene in the parking lot of the gasoline station following the events described in today's blog.

Dear readers, a sentence was handed down in Jerusalem District Court today in the case of David Mizrahi. Your humble servant will briefly describe the case below and conclude by asking you how you would have ruled.

The facts:

Tamar and David Mizrahi are Jewish community members of Kiryat Arba near Hevron. In 2007, their son was run over by a Palestinian and killed.

Two years later in November 2009, Tamar Mizrahi was working at her job at a convenience store attached to a Paz gasoline station near Kiryat Arba when Waseem Misawa rushed in carrying an axe and an 18cm ‘commando’ knife. Masawa immediately went to Tamar and stabbed her in the neck. He then proceeded to stab Moshe Salfati, a male employee of the gas station standing nearby, in the back of the head.

Misawa was then shot by a security guard at the station but still managed to run 20 meters before falling to the ground –where he remained–until a contingent of IDF soldiers arrived, whereupon he jumped up, yelled “Allahu Akbar”, and attempted to stab them as well. One soldier then fired and hit Misawa in the leg knocking him to the ground.

Within minutes, 56 year old David Mizrahi arrived on the scene, asked the soldiers if the man who had stabbed his wife was the man on the ground–and upon being told that he was–proceeded to plow through the soldiers and repeatedly drive his car over Wassem Misawa’s legs. Finally, soldiers and bystanders at the scene managed to stop Mizrahi.

The results of the injuries:

Tamar Mizrahi, Moshe Salfati, and Misawa all survived despite being critically injured.

The charges:

Misawa was later charged with and found guilty of attempted murder.

On January 25, 2011, David Mizrahi was also indicted for attempted murder in Jerusalem District Court. Later through a plea bargain, this charge was reduced to aggravated assault with a possible sentence of one year in prison.

This morning, the same Jerusalem District Court that indicted Mizrahi, found him guilty of aggravated assault and in a 2-1 decision sentenced him to three months community service. The two judges in the majority, Moshe Drori and Ben Zion Greenberger, said Mizrahi’s personal tragedy must be taken into account and that he should be sentenced to community service: “Sending the defendant to prison would hurt him terribly and even endanger him.”

Writing in dissent, Judge Zvi Segal wrote that while David Mizrahi was undoubtedly in a state of “great distress” when he had heard of his wife’s stabbing, this feelings did not legitimize Mizrahi attacking another man, “even if he is a terrorist.”

How would you have ruled in the case of David Mizrahi?


On December 6, 1948, the IDF took control of the western Negev Desert from the Egyptian Army–in a military operation called ‘Operation Assaf’.


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