Noah Wyle stars in “Shot.” Photo courtesy of Paladin

Director Jeremy Kagan takes aim at effects of gun violence in ‘Shot’


When filmmaker Jeremy Kagan first watched the gangster-film classic “Bonnie and Clyde” in 1967, he was taken not only with the brilliance of the storytelling but also by the profusion of gun wounds suffered by its characters.

“A lot of people get shot in the movie who are innocent bystanders,” Kagan, 71, said during an interview at his Venice home. “I remember walking out of the movie being impressed, but also asking myself, ‘Whatever happened to the woman who got shot at the bank? Or the cop who got shot on the chase?’ ”

Over the years, Kagan pondered what he calls “society’s thriving on the image of the gun.” He hadn’t escaped those images in his own film and television projects: In his first effort as a director in his mid-20s, on a TV series called “Nichols,” a drunken patron at a Western pool hall shoots the town’s sheriff in the opening sequence. Characters also get blown away in episodes of TV’s “Chicago Hope” and “Taken” that Kagan directed.

“Chekhov once said, if you write a gun in a scene somewhere, then you’re going to have to use it,” Kagan said.

After mass shootings such as those at Columbine High School in 1999, Kagan continued to reflect on the preponderance of firearms in the media and concluded that filmmakers seldom show the actual human consequences of gun violence. He wondered, “What is the visceral experience of what it means to get shot?”

His answer comes in the new movie, “Shot.”

The film begins as sound editor Mark Newman (Noah Wyle) is amping up gunshot sounds in a movie shootout scene. Minutes later, Mark himself becomes the gunshot victim while walking down the street. From the moment he hits the pavement, the film follows his journey in real time, from the seven minutes he lies on the street to being placed on a stretcher, carried into an ambulance and finally arriving on a hospital examination table.

Meanwhile, with the use of split screens, the drama simultaneously recounts the guilt and horror of the teenage shooter, Miguel. The second part of the film describes the lives of the perpetrator and victim five months later, as Miguel struggles with whether to make amends and Mark battles the lingering effects of his spinal injury.

Describing himself as an American-Jewish filmmaker, Kagan said “Shot” expresses the talmudic thought, “Whoever destroys a single life is considered to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered to have saved the whole world.”

As he said this, Kagan sat in his home office, looking rabbinical in a long white beard, surrounded by his own colorful artwork recounting scenes from the Torah. Silk textile art on the ceiling depicted images of the kabbalistic concept of the Tree of Life.

A poster from his 1981 movie, “The Chosen,” based on the book by Chaim Potok, graced one wall of his office, along with a lobby card from his 2007 television movie, “Golda’s Balcony,” about former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

Kagan’s films often delve into social action issues, as influenced by his father, a Reform rabbi who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and preached about progressive causes from the pulpit. The director’s 1987 TV movie, “Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8,” drew on Kagan’s involvement with the politics of the 1960s, and his 2004 television film, “Crown Heights,” follows the true story of racial tensions between Chasidic Jews and African-Americans in that Brooklyn community in 1991.

In his research for “Shot,” Kagan, a professor of film and TV at USC, spent time in emergency rooms, talking to physicians and gunshot victims.

“I’ve seen one person come in with three gunshots in him and he’s talking like you and me, while another person was shot in the foot and in agony,” he said. “I’ve ridden in ambulances with the EMTs and seen the ripple effect of what one bullet can do.”

He became aware of the grim statistics — 90 people a day are killed by gun violence in the United States — as well as the lingo, including the so-called “Golden Hour,” which refers to the fact that if you survive a gunshot for one hour, chances are you will live. He learned that even though a bullet wound appears tiny on the skin, it can ricochet throughout the body and damage internal organs. And he studied the five stages of grief as outlined by psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — which he and Wyle brought to the character of Mark.

By following the protagonist both at the time of his injuries and five months later, the film “shows the level and degree to which the violence permeates,” said Wyle, best known for his long-running role of Dr. John Carter on the TV series “ER.” “The first stage is physical and traumatic and horrific, but the second, emotional stage is far more insidious.”

Wyle’s research for the medical section of the drama included the specificity of how a spinal injury advances, “where you feel sensation and where you lose sensation, what differentiates a cramping from a stinging sensation, what moment of panic would put this character over the edge, and what would he be aware of and what wouldn’t he be aware of,” the actor said. “I wanted to make sure that, moment to moment, everything rang as true as possible, so that audiences would forget that Noah Wyle is playing this character and just think in terms of, ‘Holy s—, I don’t want to get shot.’ ”

Both Kagan and Wyle said their goal is for the film to be more than entertaining; they want it to spur dialogue about anti-gun legislation.

“I hope it will have an influence on people I will never know or meet,” Wyle said. “I hope that somebody somewhere will see this and want to take corrective action of some sort.”

“Shot” opens in Los Angeles theaters Sept. 22.

Israeli man shot in West Bank while in car with wife, 6 kids


An Israeli man was injured when his car was hit by multiple gun shots in the West Bank on Saturday evening.

Eitan Finkel, 30, of the southern Israeli city of Netivot, was driving with his wife and six children when his vehicle was hit near the Tekoa settlement, the Israel Defense Forces told the Israeli media. Finkel continued driving to the Efrat settlement, where he was taken by ambulance to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Speaking from the hospital, Finkel told the Hamodia newspaper that he was surprised when a gunman “standing right across from us” did not shoot.

 

“It was a tremendous miracle. Only after we turned did he open fire on our car,” he said. “I managed to come out alive, and my wife screamed, ‘Drive, drive, hit the gas.’

“I asked my wife right away how the children are. I kept driving for another 10 minutes, until I saw an army jeep and stopped. During the whole drive I didn’t feel my leg, or that my shoe was filled with blood. My wife jumped out of the car and called the soldiers over, and from there I was evacuated to the hospital.”

The family had been heading home after visiting the settlement of Metzad, The Times of Israel reported.

On Sunday, two West Bank Palestinian villages remained under a military closure as Israeli troops searched for the shooters.

Palestinian killed after infiltrating Israeli army base


A Palestinian was shot dead after breaking through the gates of an army base near Jerusalem on a tractor.

The Israel Defense Forces is calling Thursday evening’s incident at the Rama base near the Palestinian town of Al-Ram a terror attack.

The Palestinian, identified as Younis Obaidi from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, broke through the front perimeter of the base and began destroying military vehicles, according to reports.

Soldiers warned Obaidi several times to stop his actions before he was shot by two soldiers, according to the IDF. An Israeli soldier was injured in the incident.

The IDF said Palestitnians were rioting at the scene and that security forces were called to the area to contain the riots.

Last December, two Palestinians infiltrated the same base and stole a soldier’s gun. The base is northeast of Jerusalem and just outside its municipal boundaries.

Palestinian shot dead in clash


A Palestinian man was shot dead in a clash with soldiers and settlers.

According to an Associated Press account of the incident on Friday, it began when several hundred settlers burned a grove near the Palestinian village of Qusra in the central West Bank.

Troops arrived and, after using tear gas in an attempt to quell the riot, fired live rounds, as did settlers. Issam Badran, 35, was killed.

Israel has deployed troops throughout the West Bank in anticipation of unrest in the wake of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ planned request Friday for statehood recognition from the United Nations.

Bin Laden's killing raises immediate questions of security


For years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans waited in fear for the next strike by al-Qaida on U.S. soil. But the ensuing decade has seen no more major terrorist attacks in the United States.

Now, with the news that Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces, the question many American Jews are considering is whether the liquidation of al-Qaida’s leader makes a follow-up attack more or less likely, and whether Jews could be a target.

“More likely,” said Paul Goldenberg, director of the Secure Community Network, the American Jewish community’s security organ known by the acronym SCAN.

“We know of no imminent threat as of today as a direct result of the death of bin Laden,” Goldenberg told JTA on Monday morning, when much of the world woke up to the news of bin Laden’s death. “However, the community should remain extremely vigilant because there are lone wolves, and other terrorist groups have used incidents like this to launch revenge attacks.”

Last October, a pair of mail bombs from Yemen were sent to Chicago synagogues but were intercepted by law enforcement officials before they reached their targets. A year ago, on May 1, 2010, a Pakistani-born man tried and failed to detonate a car bomb in New York’s Times Square. Neither event was linked to a specific American action, but both resulted in raised states of alert at many Jewish institutions. Security experts have credited better U.S. intelligence and law enforcement in preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil after 9/11.

In Israel’s experience, assassinations of senior terrorist figures have been followed up months or even years later by revenge attacks. Hamas and Hezbollah often have ascribed their terrorist attacks on Israel to Israeli military actions.

But some security experts are warning against interpreting terrorist attacks as acts of revenge, saying it fuels the mistaken notion that somehow the actions of the West are to blame for terrorism.

“When you focus on this sort of causality, we accept the terrorists’ framing,” Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies, told The Atlantic blogger Jeffrey Goldberg a year ago.

“They see themselves as reluctant fighters, always retaliating, never initiating,” Hoffman said. “The media can make it look as if the terror groups are simply defending themselves from some provocation. The question is one of original provocation.”

More concerning now, say security experts, is the possibility that a lone wolf will be motivated by bin Laden’s killing to attack a U.S. target. While intelligence and law enforcement officials are adept at tracking terrorist activity and planning—just last week, German officials arrested three suspected al-Qaida members for planning an imminent terrorist attack—it’s much harder to stop a lone person acting spontaneously or with little coordination.

“The concern is that a lone wolf that sits in front of his or her television screen sees this, becomes furious at what occurred and with no real planning, on their own or in a small group, will make an effort to go out and execute an attack,” Goldenberg said. “Those in law enforcement have a very tough time keeping track of the lone wolf.”

That’s the scenario that took place in March 1994, when a Lebanese cab driver in New York, incensed at the massacre of 29 Arabs in Hebron by Baruch Goldstein, opened fire on a van full of Chasidic youths on the Brooklyn Bridge, killing 16-year-old Ari Halberstam.

When it comes to al-Qaida, the question is whether removing the movement’s leader will deal al-Qaida a critical blow or whether the movement is diffuse enough to thrive even without bin Laden’s leadership.

“What is this great victory? What is the great thing that they achieved?” a Sunni Muslim preacher in Lebanon, Bilal al-Baroudi, was quoted in The New York Times as saying. “Bin Laden is not the end, and the door remains shut between us and the United States. We dislike the reactions and the celebrations in the United States.”

The response to bin Laden’s death elsewhere in the Muslim world has been mixed. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh condemned the killing, calling bin Laden a Muslim and Arab warrior and saying that “We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.”

A Palestinian Authority spokesman, however, said bin Laden’s demise was “good for the cause of peace.”

Israel and Jewish groups concurred, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailing it as a triumph in the fight against terrorists.

“The State of Israel joins the American people on this historic day in celebrating the elimination of Osama bin Laden,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “This is a resounding victory for justice, freedom and the common values of all democracies that are resolutely fighting shoulder to shoulder against terrorism.”

Sudan blames Israel for deadly airstrike


Sudan’s foreign minister blamed Israel for a bombing attack on a car near the country’s port city that killed two.

“This is absolutely an Israeli attack,” Ali Karti told reporters Wednesday in the capital of Khartoum, Reuters reported.

The day before, an unidentified plane reportedly flew into Sudanese airspace from the Red Sea and bombed the car, killing its two passengers, before flying back the way it came. The plane evaded several missiles fired by the Sudanese army.

Karti said one of the car’s dead passengers was a Sudanese citizen with no government or Islamist ties.

Israel carried out the attack, he said, to prevent Sudan from being removed from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Sudan is under consideration to be removed from the list.

Neither Israel’s foreign minister nor its military has commented on the attack.

Israel was accused in 2009 of a deadly strike on a convoy of trucks in eastern Sudan suspected of being arms smugglers transporting weapons bound for the Gaza Strip.

Israeli-Arab actor fatally shot in Jenin


Juliano Mer-Khamis, a well-known Israeli-Arab actor, was shot dead by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Mer-Khamis, whose mother was an Israeli-Jewish activist for Palestinian rights and father was a Christian Palestinian, was killed Monday after being shot five times while driving in his car, according to reports.

Mer-Khamis, 53, reportedly had received death threats after establishing the Freedom Theater in a Jenin refugee camp. The theater, a popular cultural center in the camp, has been the target of several firebomb attacks since its establishment five years ago, Ynet reported.

He had been called a “fifth column” in a pamphlet distributed in the refugee camp in 2009, according to Ynet.

Mer-Khamis was well-known for his film and theater roles in Israel and abroad. He was born and raised in Nazareth.

Court: JCC Parents Can Sue Gunmakers


Three families, whose children were shot by a white supremacist in an attack on the North Valley Jewish Community Center (NVJCC), can pursue their lawsuit against the makers of the weapons used in the shooting spree.

The May 28 ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was greeted with relief by the three families and by the mother of postal carrier Joseph S. Ileto, who was slain by the same gunman in a separate attack.

The suit grew out of the Aug. 10, 1999 attack by Buford O. Furrow Jr., a self-avowed anti-Semite and white supremacist, on the Jewish center in Granada Hills, which left three children, one teenager and one adult wounded.

"I am so elated that we are finally moving forward," Donna Finkelstein told The Journal. Her daughter Mindy, then a 16-year-old counselor at the JCC, suffered two gunshot wounds to her leg.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Alan Stepakoff and Loren Lieb, whose then 6-year-old son, Joshua Stepakoff, was also shot in the leg.

Also participating in the suit, which seeks unspecified damages, are Eleanor and Charles Kadish, whose son Benjamin, then 5, was the most seriously injured, with gunshot wounds to his stomach and legs.

Eleanor Kadish said that the legal decision was "something of a victory" and she was optimist that the gunmakers would ultimately be held accountable.

She described her family life as "pretty much back to normal, but the trauma always comes back to you."

Among the large cache of weapons found in Furrow’s car were an Austrian-made Glock 9-millimeter handgun and a 9-millimeter rifle, made by North China Industries. Both manufacturers are named in the suit.

Furrow, who is now serving five life terms in prison, without possibility of parole, was a longtime member of the Aryan Nations. The Idaho-based group proclaims that all Jews are descendants of Satan.

When he turned himself in to the FBI in Las Vegas, Furrow told agents that he had shot up the Jewish center the day before as "a wake-up call to Americans to kill Jews."

He added that he had shot and killed Ileto because he was non-white and worked for the federal government.

Before the shooting rampage, Furrow had checked out the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Skirball Cultural Center and University of Judaism, but had found security too tight. He described his choice of the NVJCC as "a target of opportunity."

In filing the original suit almost four years ago, attorney Joshua Horwitz of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence said that Furrow, a convicted felon with a history of mental instability, should not have been allowed to build an arsenal of assault-style weapons.

"It’s not enough to let guns go out your factory door and say, ‘Sorry, we don’t know where they’re headed,’" Horwitz said.

Commenting on the current court ruling, Horwitz said that "When the actions of gunmakers and distributors put public safety at risk, they must be held accountable."

Friday’s ruling by the full 26-member appeals court upheld the same ruling by an earlier three-judge panel, which had been appealed by the Glock company.

However, eight of the 26 judges dissented, warning that the ruling could threaten many non-gun manufacturers and seriously damage the state’s economy.

Attorneys for the gunmakers said they had not yet decided whether to request a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

One outgrowth of the JCC attack has been the Million Mom March, a national gun control initiative, with much of the initial impetus coming from Jewish Valley women, including Finkelstein and Lieb.

Finkelstein, and her husband David, were active participants in the 2004 march, held last month in Washington, D.C.

A Tale of Two Cities


On Oct. 14, Joseph Javaheri, a Jewish man from Pico-Robertson was tending the counter at Avalon Discount, a grocery-slash-everything store in the area patrolled by the LAPD’s Newton Division — considered Los Angeles’ third worst neighborhood in terms of crime.

At 8 p.m., closing time, Javaheri, 59, had already locked one of the security gates, and was in the process of locking the other, when two black males in their mid-20s forced their way into the store. One lingered at the entrance; the other dived across the counter and stuck his hand in the open cash register, pulling out a fistful of cash. He jumped back toward the entrance, which was only a couple of feet away from the register. As he and his accomplice started to make their getaway, Javaheri accosted them in an effort to get the cash back, according to some sources. One of the men took out a handgun and shot Javaheri at point-blank range in the chest.

Javaheri was dead. The men got away with less than $100. The murderers remain at large.

For those incubated in the middle-class comfort of West Los Angeles, gang violence is often just a recurring headline in the Los Angeles Times, but Javaheri’s murder is a reminder — to the Jewish community at least — that the effects of South Los Angeles’ festering mess of crime are not quarantined. While the problems of South Los Angeles — such as poverty, unemployment, gang violence, drugs, illegal weapons — are many and the solutions few, many Jewish groups feel that ignoring them is only to our detriment, and that it is a religious imperative for the Jews of West Los Angeles to move out of their comfort zone and start taking responsibility for the larger community that they live in for the good of the city.

In 1990, crossed the Iranian border illegally, under threat of death, in order to join his wife, Farideh, and four children who had immigrated to the States two years earlier from Iran. Javaheri was traditional. He educated all his children at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles. He was a hard-working man, and spent many years working in Avalon Discount, until his children convinced him that it was not safe there, and so instead he joined the fabric business of his oldest son, Payam. But, with three children of marriageable age (his second daughter, Parisa, is already married with two children), Javaheri decided that his family would need extra cash for the potential celebrations. He took on a second job, returning at night to Avalon Discount, albeit to a different location according to Shawn Soleimani, the lawyer hired by the family to investigate whether there is a civil case against the store owners, the property owners and possibly the city for inadequate security.

“My father wanted us to be happy, and he always went out of his way to provide us with everything,” said Zacharia, Javaheri’s 25-year-old son. “His family always came first, and he always had a lev tov [a good heart] and he leaves behind a shem tov [a good name].”

But Javaheri’s murder also leaves behind a number of questions — why did this senseless murder of a good man have to happen? Why were there not policeman tending the heavily trafficked area where Avalon Discount was located? Why did the 20-year-old men think that robbery and murder were acceptable behaviors? And why was this not an isolated incident? Javaheri’s murder was the 42nd for Newton Division since the beginning of the year. His store was the 800th property robbed in the area in the same time frame. Although those statistics are horrifying, this is only the third-worst neighborhood in Los Angeles. Newton Division patrols Compton and Watts, where gang violence prevails in a far greater way, and where murders and robberies happen more frequently. Thus, the question becomes: Why isn’t anybody doing anything about it?

“After a month of reading the front page of [people being killed] in Iraq, the Congo and Afghanistan, and then turning to the California section and seeing on page six that there were 12 people killed over the weekend, I was wondering why isn’t this a front-page story,” asked Gary Ratner, executive director of the American Jewish Congress’s Pacific Southwest region. “People travel 10,000 miles because they are concerned about human rights violations, but they don’t seem to be concerned about what is happening in their own backyards.”

Ratner is now trying to raise $50,000 for gang intervention programs in South Los Angeles. He is working with the Rev. Leonard Jackson, the assistant pastor at the First AME Church of Los Angeles, on a violence intervention program, and his organization is also joining up with the Progressive Jewish Alliance’s (PJA) Jewish Community Justice Project, which trains community volunteers to be mediators who go out to the violent parts of the city and put juvenile first-time offenders, their parents and the victims of the crime together in a room and get them to agree to some kind of settlement of the case.

“Statistics show that 50 percent of kids who go through this mediation are not recidivist,” said Daniel Sokatch, executive director of the PJA. “We don’t have any delusions of grandeur about the program, but we do know that it works on an individual level.”

Both Ratner and Sokatch told The Journal that they believed that Jews have a moral obligation to be concerned with what is happening in the larger community. Other groups have also taken on the challenge — KOREH L.A. tries to better educate the children in all neighborhoods of Los Angeles by increasing levels of literacy, MAZON and Wilshire Boulevard Temple have pantries where the poorest families in the city can pick up food.

“Jews have an obligation to turn outward and be guided by our ethics in working to build a better community for everybody,” Sokatch said.

But if mediation and intervention programs are going to work to overhaul South Los Angeles, they need to be conducted on a much bigger scale.

“We need help here,” 9th District City Councilwoman Jan Perry. “I was at a press conference two months ago, where kids on skid row told adults that they were sick of having to walk to school through the violence, condoms and syringes. In some ways, people in other parts of the city are divorced from the level of violence that occurs. The very fact that this is the first time you are calling me should tell you something.”

Perry is working on a number of projects to improve the neighborhood. She increased the amount of reward money (now $25,000) that is offered to people who provide information that will help solve violent crimes. She has negotiated a new $500,000 soccer turf to be built so that youths aged 9-15 could have an outlet in sport, instead of crime; affordable home ownership programs; and a new $19.5 million shopping center to be built that has a local hiring goal of 50 percent for new permanent jobs. The idea of all of these programs is to make residents of South Los Angeles feel invested in their community so that they will look after it.

South Los Angeles is a part of town bereft of all the corporate landmarks that those on the westside take for granted like Ralphs, Gap or Barnes & Noble. Instead, the streets are populated with decrepit, no name-liquor stores, beauty parlors and lunch trucks. On a Sunday night, the small strip mall where Avalon Discount is located was hopping with families washing their clothes at the laundromat, people eating at the doughnut shop and buying last minute groceries at the bodega. Children were ambling around near one homeless man lying on the pavement with his grimy quilt pulled high over his head; a homeless woman was mumbling loudly about a man who attacked her. Most people approached for interviews only spoke Spanish. One 14-year-old African American girl told The Journal that she was not aware that a murder had happened in the store next to where she was sitting, but she had seen a murder victim herself one morning as she was walking to school.

“We need more police here,” said the girl, who did not want to give her name. “And they need to be staying in the street corners, not circling around.”

A greater police presence in the area is something that many people think is vital to keeping crime down, but funds for more police are hard to come by. Fifth District City Councilman Jack Weiss told the Journal that he thinks a large part of the problem is that many police resources go in tending to false burglar alarms on the Westside.

“Only 6 percent of the homes in Los Angeles have private burglar alarms, and 90 percent of the time when the alarms go off it is a false alarm,” said Weiss, who has tried, unsuccessfully, to change the response policy of the Los Angeles Police Department at City Council meetings.

Perry concurred with Weiss that more police are needed.

“If I had to send a message to the people who might read this article, it would be to please impress upon all of your government and elected officials to seek funding for additional police,” she said. “We are being disproportionately affected in this district.”

Currently, the Javaheri family is waiting for their father’s killers to be bought to justice, but they also wanted to make sure that their father’s legacy was publicized. Ironically, what their father believed in most was something that his own murder belied completely.

“My father hated sinat chinam,” said Zacharia Javaheri, referring to the biblical injunction against senseless hatred. “He was always concerned about bringing about ahavat chinam [unconditional love], so we need to fill up the big gap that he left by increasing our kindness and charity.”

And perhaps some of that charity should find its way south of 10 freeway.

“We should never, ever, turn our back on the larger community,” said Rabbi Elazar Muskin of Young Israel of Century City. “We have an obligation to help.”

“The extremes of rich and poor are only getting more extreme in Los Angeles,” Weiss said. “We live in a town that embodies the tale of two cities.”

Pushing the Limits


In less than a week, whatever was left of the mutual trust between Israelis and Palestinians appeared to come tumbling down.

Except for the loss of life, this loss of trust is among the greatest casualties of the past week of bloody rioting.

And when a Palestinian police officer opened fire on his Israeli colleagues in a joint border patrol last week, one of the most important symbols of that trust was also shattered.

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that last Friday morning, a few hours before the deadly riots began, a Palestinian Authority police officer shot and killed Israeli border guard Yossi Tabjeh, 27.

As a result, the joint Palestinian-Israeli patrols, long seen as a symbol of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, no longer function.

And when senior Israeli and Palestinian commanders met in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to try to work out a cease-fire agreement, they had reached a certain understanding but continued to regard each other with suspicion.

Only a few hours after the two sides shook hands, the Palestinians accused the Israelis of not keeping their word and retracted their promises to end the trouble.

In Israel proper, Arab policemen serving in northern Israeli police units surprised their Jewish partners, saying they could not confront Arab demonstrators and preferred to stay at their bases while the violence was going on.

“We had contingency plans for a situation in which local residents would close off major traffic arteries in the Galilee,” said one senior police officer. “But we did not take into account that Arab policemen would not dare face violent Arab demonstrations.”

“Fifty years of trust went down the drain in two days of violence,” said Erez Kreisler, the mayor of the council of the Misgav region, which borders a number of Arab villages in northern Israel.

Although hundreds of Arab youths took to the streets in the worst violence since 1948, hundreds of thousands remained at home, waiting for the trouble to end.

Most Israeli Arabs, although supportive of the Palestinian cause, had no interest in severing ties to the Jewish state, which they have made their home.

As for the Palestinian Authority and its police forces, this was not the first time the trust was shattered.It began with disturbances at an archaeological tunnel in Jerusalem in 1996, when Palestinian police officers opened fire on Israeli officers, and it has deteriorated ever since.

But the incident with the joint patrols is sure to do serious damage, raising serious questions whether Israelis and Palestinians can share security arrangements in the future.

“They don’t like the joint patrols,” Lt. Roi Nahmias said of the Palestinians.

That was evident in this week’s riots.

They were instigated, to a large extent, by the Tanzim, a local body of Fatah, which is the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The Tanzim represent the younger guard of the Fatah. Its members aspire to operate independently but in practice would not dare to act contrary to the specific instructions of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

Thus, the Israelis found themselves in a situation more complex than in the past: They were facing Arafat, whom they did not trust, and they were facing the Tanzim, whom Arafat could not trust completely.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak complained Tuesday that on one hand Arafat was sending the Tanzim to confront the Israelis in the streets, but on the other hand he was sending the head of his West Bank security service to try and work out a deal with Israel.

It was hoped that following the meeting, spirits might cool down. But there is little doubt that the breach of trust will take a long time to repair.