Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Ein Gedi Botanic Garden
Seek the serenity of a Judean Desert sky in Autumn at the Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Stupidity of Fake Calls to Police and ‘Crying Wolf’

July 7, 2014 - When I was a child my parents read me the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf.’  Most children who grow up in the United States – at least those who are not Chassidic and probably those who are not Litvish – are exposed to this story, which is not a Jewish tale.

It is the story of a boy who used to pretend he was being attacked by a wolf, and would cry out, “Wolf!” and everyone would run to save him. Except that people became so used to the sight of finding him laughing when they came running that they no longer paid attention to his antics. Of course, the day finally came when he actually was attacked by a wolf – only by then no one responded to his cries, and the boy was torn apart and died.

A pretty grim tale, right?


What a pity that Israeli parents have never read it to their children, and the lesson obviously was never learned in any other way. Israel Police have been the unwilling recipients of hundreds of false alarms and fake distress calls over the years.

One would think that since the June 12 terrorist kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion, this phenomenon would have stopped rather abruptly, no?  Sadly, it has not.

Memorial in front of Arad central post office for Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gilad Shayer, 16, kidnapped in Gush Etzion and murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12, 2014.  Photo: Hana Levi Julian
In fact, according to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld police still receive as many as 10 to 12 fake “kidnapping” calls per day.  Each time, the police dispatcher is forced to determine whether or not the call is a “possible” incident, one that must be acted on swiftly, without any delay.

Today that happened and for hours helicopters were in the sky, IDF soldiers were out on roadblocks and police officers were out there searching -- even though there was no hard evidence that any child was missing. Police cannot take a chance, Rosenfeld said.

All this took place because one child told his father – who was conscientious enough to call police – reporting that he had seen another boy with a kipa being taken by two strange men into a car in the middle of Modi’in.  

Seven hours later, police finally were able to halt the search, at last sure there weren’t any parents that had missed a child, that none were believed to be visiting with a friend after camp or school but instead were gone. 

Case closed, thank G-d. This time.

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