Reform the Israel Police

Dr. Norman Bailey

A string of recent incidents shows how ill-adapted Israel Police is to its task. It must change before things get out of hand.

In my last column, I wrote about the necessity of a reform in the Israeli political system and government structure. This column is about a governmental agency that requires reform equally urgently: the Israeli domestic security forces, particularly the various police forces.

From the Meron disaster to the police riot at the Abu Aklei funeral to the lack of reaction to the Haredi thugs attacking peaceful people, mostly from the US, attending a bar mitzvah ceremony at the appropriate section of the Western Wall, as well as numerous other less prominent incidents, the Israeli police have shown themselves severely lacking in appropriate training for their extremely important functions.

If the public cannot expect appropriate behavior from the official security services, they will gradually begin to take things into their own hands. Given that guns are very widespread in Israeli society, that could be a very serious threat to the social structure and functioning of the country.

Yet, despite this perfectly obvious necessity, the Israeli government, or what passes for a government, has done very little or practically nothing. Investigations drag on, and in the end no-one takes responsibility for anything.

This must stop. Maybe former prime minister Naftali Bennett, who has announced he will not be running for reelection to the Knesset in the November elections, will take on this issue, as well, perhaps, as the even more important issue of forcing the calling of a constitutional convention, delayed since 1948, to rationalize the dysfunctional Israeli governmental structure.

There must be a public outcry demanding attention be paid to both these problems. Israel is a scientific, technological, economic and cultural powerhouse, functioning within a political system, including the police, that can only be described as non-functional. Are you listening, Naftali?

Dr. Norman Bailey is professor of Economic Statecraft at the Galilee International Management Institute, and adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics, Washington DC. Dr. Bailey was a senior staff member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on July 21, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

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