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.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.