Internal Security Minister: Israel Not Enough of Police State Already, Tens of Thousands More Officers Needed, We’ve ‘Lost Control of Arab Sector’
Israel’s Internal Security Minister is doing what government ministers tend to do: he’s shilling for his fiefdom, seeking ever greater wads of government cash to pad his little portion of the kingdom. Yitzhak Aharonovitch is whining (though he protests: “I haven’t come here to whine, but rather to open eyes”) to the Knesset Budget Committee that the police and Border Police are not just horribly underpaid, but that there aren’t enough of these goons on the street to beat uppity Nigras and Ay-rabs to a pulp (yes, I exaggerate, but not by much). He’s seeking “tens of thousands” more positions. Why? Because those nasty Arabs are planning to topple the Israeli way of life of course:
The Interior Minister emphasized the impossiblity of combatting properly the rising violations of public order in the Arab sector. “We’ve lost control despite the fact that there are fumes in the air [waiting to ignite].
Israel Radio also added this:
In future, he anticipates events much more severe than the [Israeli Palestinian] riots of 2000.
No word from the good minister on whether his request will also include training and enforcement to improve the quality of policing these new recruits would offer the citizenry. Given that it’s likely that adding such manpower to the force would continue the current status quo of corrupt, abusive, even violent policing offered by Israeli police & Border Police, one wonders why the Knesset would even consider, let alone accede to such a request.
Several aspects of this report are true, however. Israeli police are miserably paid (approximately $1,100 per month), which explains why they are so prone to corruption. And there are fewer police per capita than a city like New York. Clearly, one of the reasons for both of these problems is the huge percentage of the Israeli budget dedicated to the military and maintaining the Occupation. Get rid of the Occupation and you will have the funding necessary to train and pay the police properly.
26 thoughts on “Internal Security Minister: Israel Not Enough of Police State Already, Tens of Thousands More Officers Needed, We’ve ‘Lost Control of Arab Sector’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
I’d also consider that the miserable relations between police and Palestinian Israelis are the result of most of the police having a background in the military. Because soldiers are trained to regard the opponent as “enemy” they are solidly unfit for law enforcement duties, and most civilised countries recognise this fact.
I don’t know the amount of training Israeli police recruits receive in democratic/republican values, but the identification of Palestinian Israelis first and foremost as (part of the sea of) “Arabs” (“The Enemy”) rather than as fellow citizens seems to me a fundamental flaw no well-intentioned training could possibly neutralise.
Palestinians are not just “the enemy”; they’re the sub-human enemy:
“After being arrested in a Palestinian demonstration near Hebron some time ago, I was handcuffed and blindfolded then sat in the direct sun along with another Israeli activist. After some time, an IDF commander arrived on the scene and asked one of his soldiers, “why are those two in the sun?” The soldier reported that he just put us next to some Palestinians that were arrested in the same demonstration. The commander, clearly upset with his young soldier, ordered that we be moved to the shade because ‘they are Jews.” Then he personally inspected the zip-tie handcuffs of the Palestinians, making sure that they were as excruciatingly tight as possible. This was one of my first concrete experiences in the West Bank in which I was able to see just how soldiers viewed Palestinians. It was as if they were not fully human or at least, not as human as Jews. […]
Viewing Palestinians as less than human is a profound example of the moral corruption of Israeli society. […]
What is found is that the occupation has led to a moral corrosion of Israeli society which has almost reached a point of no return.”
Corruption due to the occupation doesn’t just afflict the police force. It’s a pervasive mindset that afflicts much of Israel’s population. It’s a depraved indifference to human suffering that’s at the root of this corruption and in my opinion is becoming a collective insanity.
“ the occupation has led to a moral corrosion of Israeli society…”
“Corruption due to the occupation [is] a pervasive mindset that afflicts much of Israel’s population. It’s a depraved indifference to human suffering that’s at the root of this corruption…”
Yeah, I used to have as my display background a photo of a huge banner saying “It’s the occupation, stupid”. But it’s not the occupation. It goes back much farther, and deeper than that to Zionism and the foundation of the State. Israel was founded on depraved indifference to human suffering, and could not have successfully been established without it. What the occupation is doing is making clear what is and has always been part of the core of the State of Israel.
RE: “…the rising violations of public order in
the Arab sector.” – Interior Minister Aharonovitch
MY COMMENT: The Arab sector? That sounds so eerily familiar! But I dare not say why, because I’m still haunted by Jacobo Timerman’s suggestion that WWIII might well begin as a consequence of the use of an “inappropriate analogy”. I think he was mostly joking, but……
The Warsaw ghetto, maybe? Here’s what life in another present-day ghetto looks like:
“[…] they come with a Givati force in Gaza, they go in with the battalion commander; they find someone there who isn’t connected to anything, a house that’s not at the location they received, a different house. And of course in every home in Bet Lahia, outside of the house, there are pictures of Shahids so he says to him: “What’s this?” And then he decides to take him with us and he’s barefoot. They walk three kilometers from his house to the border and he’s barefoot. He asked the battalion commander if he could put shoes on, sandals, he asked him in Hebrew and he goes to him: “No”! He started bleeding on the way.” ”
“[…] Pouring out the kids’ bags and playing with their toys. You know, to grab one and to play “keep away with their toys.”
Did the kids cry?
All the time. They cried and they were afraid. Meaning, you couldn’t miss it.
The adults cried too?
Of course, they were degraded. One of the goals was always: I got him to cry in front of his kids, I got him to crap in his pants.
You saw situations where people went to the bathroom in their pants?
From being beaten, for the most part. Being beaten to death, and threatened, and screamed at, you are just terrified.
He goes and beats him up, screams at him, saying, “what, I’ll kill you in front of your boy, maybe you’ll feel more…” It’s terrifying. Again, there are a lot of stories of honor.
Did he piss his pants out of fear?
In front of the boy.
[…] the company commander, the assistant company commander, the operations officers – even encouraged it to a degree. Again, not directly, they didn’t come and say, yalla beat them up, but there was a kind of legitimization, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened.
Later I go on patrol with him in the vehicle, so he sees a little girl playing at the entrance to the settlement, on the access road into the settlement but still below it, still outside the fence – it was totally not part of that settlement – but from below, in the valley. He sees a girl, I hear him yell something at her in Arabic, from the megaphone, something like “Rasak.” I didn’t understand. I go to him: what did you yell at the girl? So he goes: “If you come around here again I’ll break your head.” Something like that.”
If anyone wants to understand the cruelty of the Israeli police and IDF in their treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied territories, I recommend you read a couple of views from the other side:
“My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” by Ramzy Baroud,
“Miral” by Rula Jebreal. (Or see the movie)
You might then conclude that there are too MANY police!
Gene, thank you for giving me the occasion to present Rula Jebreal, today a well-known political journalist on the Italian television. Her autobiographical book, and the film – a little too ‘Hollywoodised’ in my taste – are highly recommendable.
Here’s an interview with Rula in English on France24:
> Deir Yassin, I thank YOU for calling my attention to the video. I did not realized that Rula was so gorgeous! What a combination of brains, beauty, and heart. Haven’t seen the film yet, and probably won’t. I’d rather savor the book.
Yes, she is a pure beauty. Frieda Pinto, the Indian actress from Slum Dog Millionnaire, who plays Rula in the film looks like her twin sister. If you’ve read the book, the film is not worth it. Hopefully, though, it will bring the Palestinian narrative to wider circles.
Michael Chertoff started the Newark branch of Latham & Watkins, where my source tells me they worked on Matter # 192-600 (192-601, etc.), the defense of Larry Silverstein and the insurance companies, against the interests of the 9/11 victims. In his capacity as Department of Homeland Security director, Michael Chertoff had an egregious conflict of interest and undue influence on the victims’ ability to recover under proper claims.
The same man’s former department failed to fulfill its most primary and basic mandate before placing body scan devices into every airport in America at a profit. His mother was the first El Al Airline Stewardess. El Al was on Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, et. al. touting its security methods while Americans were complaining about the TSA opt-out.
Larry Silverstein claims Building 7 came down on its own. My source at Latham & Watkins tells me there are files upon files at the firm that indicate he had full knowledge, and even directed and orchestrated its demolition. There are several websites out there that are blown off as 9/11 “conspiracies” – just like the Mossad agents and the van, who all of the tri-state area heard about in real time.
Netanyahu: “Americans are Easy to Push Around”
The lobby has connections with the drug companies and military contractors. Larry Silverstein and Michael Chertoff must account for treason.
Lobby, let my people go!
Whoa, that’s a bit strong don’t you think? From “conflict of interest” all the way to treason in one jump?
Sorry, Richard. Not strong enough. Not conflict of interest, rather outright collusion, if true.
I have reason to doubt the veracity of my source. The next question people should be asking is why their was a mass exodus from the branch in 2005-2006. Silverstein’s demolition was preplanned. Several who are not privy to my source’s information have already mounted an attack, including victims’ families. It’s not necessary to wait for a Julian Assange to “leak” what people have consummately matted out using expert testimony and physical evidence already at hand.
Out of the fear that people will misread this to mean Larry Silverstein also ordered the attacks — that is incorrect. However, they were forecast and there are indications that he knew about them well in advance. I’ll leave the rest to you.
Sorry, don’t buy it. And this is getting into 9/11 conspiracy territory that makes me uncomfortable.
There are unanswered questions, without a doubt.
The corruption and incompetence of the Israeli government will be its downfall; they don’t have enough fire trucks, not enough cops, children living in poverty – and yet this is a state that builds its own tanks, advanced fighting drones, and can infect “enemy” computer systems with complicated viruses. Such lopsidedness is impossible to keep up, even with gifts of advanced weaponry from the stumbling superpower….Israel needs to look at post-Soviet Cuba for a hint of what its future may resemble.
Israel’s economy is much stronger than Cuba’s & more resilient. The only way Israel could go the way of Cuba is if the U.S. withdraws all the goodies. Then Israel will catch a good stiff case of pneumonia after Washington’s sneeze. BUt I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
What I meant with the Cuba analogy is that, what if the US pulls a USSR and falls apart, or “withdraws all the goodies” as you put it because the money is no longer there. I just feel that Israel’s situation is untenable in the long term and something will have to go (hopefully the settlers.)
Yes, I agree.
First of all Mr. Aharonovitz is not the interior minister (this job belongs to Eli Yshay from Shass). He is the Interior security minister.
Yes, there are not enough police force in Israel and in many Arab towns and villages there are not any police stations, but only police patrols.
A reader corrected this error just after I published. It took me a few hrs. to do so.
When there is police presence in Arab villages it causes more tension, conflict & violence than it prevents. And protecting Israeli Palestinian women from domestic violence is a joke as far as the police are concerned. Their attitudes toward domestic violence in the “Arab sector” is where U.S. police were 20 yrs ago.
As someone who attends meetings with the Israel police and leaders of the Arab sector, and writes about these meetings regularly, I have to say your thesis in this article and the comment you wrote are wrong.
Every time I go to one of these meetings I’m taken aback by how much the local Arab leaders plead for a greater police presence in their communities. Their complaints are mainly about a lack of police presence, or that the police don’t come when there are crimes in their neighborhoods or dont respond to gunshots. Police brutality is further down the list.
Much like the African-American community, the Arab community in Israel is the greatest victim of the crime that originates from its own community (not the Jews or the whites). They are afraid and in need of assistance in fighting the scourge of illegal firearms and worsening violence in their communities. This is why Aharanovitch has launched plans to increase Arab enrollment in the Israel police and has asked for the Arab sector’s help in doing so.
I remember in particular hearing the Rahat mayor asking for the police to come in on the weekends when the Beduin soldiers come home with their service rifles and get in brawls and shootouts, asking that the police come and forcibly remove the weapons from them.
The bottom line is that its a complicated issue. Crime is devastating the Arab sector in Israel and they don’t feel that the police care enough about them to help fight it. Ironically, it’s a Yisrael Beitenu MK (Aharonovitch) who is doing more than any MK to help them gain some peace in their communities.
First, as you are clearly either an employee of the gov’t or a PR consultant I would ask you clarify yr role for the sake of transparency. My readers & I deserve to know who you are & in what capacity you are commenting here.
Yes, of course every Israeli citizen including Palestinians demand proper police protection that keeps them safe. But Arab communities get almost no protection and the protection they get is worse than no protection at all because it largely views Palestinians as either a nusinance or worse. The brutality & corruption common to police in Jewish communities is multiplied in Palestinian ones.
This is ridiculous. Aharonovitch is not offering Arabs any peace in their communities. In fact, he’s shouting to all Israel that Palestinian citizens are a massive threat to the state for which he needs tens of thousands of officers. What utter nonsense.
I am neither a PR guy or a government employee. I am a writer who would rather not let his political opinions be publicly aired (commenters on your site should have the right to remain anonymous).
These meetings between the Arab community and police are often open to the public, and demonstrations held by the Arab community are always open to everyone (these are the places I usually speak to local residents or activists), anyone can go. Also, even if they’re behind closed doors at a Knesset committee you can watch them on TV.
I’m no Yisrael Beitenu fan nor am I particularly fond of Aharonovitch or your average beat cop on the street. That’s probably why these things come as a surprise to me.
There is virtually no political capital for an MK from a right-wing party to gain with his base by calling for greater cooperation between police and the Arab community. Working to rid the Arab community of illegal firearms (ask local Arabs, its a scourge of their communities and they want help) is not necessarily in his interest or something that can win him votes with right or left wing Israelis.
To me, as someone who is inclined to assume all Yisrael Beitenu MKs are Arab-baiting fascists, I can’t help but assume that he and his ministry and the Israel Police legitimately want to reduce the murder and violent crime rate in the Arab community. Not for the sake of Jews but for the sake of residents of Jaljulyah, Tyre, etc.
I guess actions will prove louder than words though. But it’s a sad fact that hardly anyone in the Israeli media or in the Knesset (including the Arab MKs) talks at all about the toll violent crime is having on the Arab community. They need all the help they can get.