Don’t Let Family Connections Block a Probe Into a Fatal Road Accident

Gal Beck, still a boy, was riding his motor scooter in north Tel Aviv when his life abruptly ended.

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
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Gal Beck - boy killed in 2005 car accident. Credit: Channel 1 /YouTube
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

It was probably the first real civics lesson my two sons ever received. I remember well that black Saturday: Gal Beck was killed on his motor scooter and Ramat Aviv was in shock. This included my sons, one of whom was his friend and the other his instructor in the scouts.

I remember people gathering at the intersection where he was killed and the anguished cries from the house across the street from mine; people trying to console the inconsolable. Ever since, every time I pass the gate to that garden I think of what must be going on inside that house, which lost its son with his long hair and dreamy face, who now only gazes back from photos.

Gal remains a child forever, while his friends are already embarking on life. I don’t think they’ve forgotten him. The image of his father, the first to arrive on the scene, trying to resuscitate his dead son, still grips me even though I didn’t witness it in person. I didn’t know Gal or his parents, but when your children grieve the grief sweeps you along. And Dan and Uri grieved.

Shortly after the accident people began to talk: The woman behind the wheel was from a well-connected family and the file was closed. I have no idea where these disconcerting rumors came from and I doubted their veracity, but they haven’t gone away in a decade.

This was the first contact with death for a group of young Tel Avivians — harsh and shocking contact. It was also their first contact with their country’s law-enforcement and legal system, and this contact was destructive — suspicion and a profound lack of confidence.

If only for the sake of these young people who are convinced that justice wasn’t served, the case should probably be reopened. If only to show them they live in a state of law, a fresh investigation should try to establish the truth about the incident in which their friend’s bike was cut in half and thrown a great distance late that Saturday night, not far from his home. He and his parents deserve that, and the state is obliged to comply.

Following a Channel 1 investigative report by Ayala Hasson and Yifat Glick, it seems no one but attorney Hadas Fuhrer-Gafny still claims that everything is clear-cut, with no question marks crying out to answer how the file was closed with such incredibly rare haste.

Why weren’t witnesses called to testify, including new ones who cropped up in the TV report? Why wasn’t the driver properly investigated? Why wasn’t her blood-alcohol level tested? Why weren’t the contradictions in the evidence examined at the time?

There may be excellent answers to these questions that prove beyond a doubt that the driver was totally innocent. If so, why not investigate?

What lies behind the state prosecutors’ aggressive, almost violent resistance against doing so? This wouldn’t be much trouble for people who supposedly work well into the night. Let them conduct a full investigation and clear the driver and themselves of any suspicion.

It’s unacceptable to leave the wound bleeding; the story can’t be removed from the public agenda. It will haunt us in the quest for truth.

Gal’s graceful parents have waited 10 years. They deserve to know the truth, as do his friends. Until all suspicions are lifted and justice is seen to be done, Gal’s blood will continue to cry out from the corner of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael Boulevard and Haim Levanon Street.