Amid a series of underworld killings and severe public criticism of the Israel Police, police Insp.- Gen. Yohanan Danino lashed out at the media on Tuesday, saying they were creating panic and that he no longer listened to the radio.
“You turn on the radio in the morning, and you hear there’s an emergency situation and you have to head for the bomb shelter. This is called the reality as the media sees it,” he told police officers during a tour of the Ayalon subdistrict headquarters in Holon on Tuesday. “I would like to calm everyone down and tell you that the pubic believes in you and the public is not afraid.”
“There are [crime] reporters who are afraid that they won’t have anything to write about anymore,” Danino said. “They say the situation is an emergency, but the facts are completely different.”
Danino said the two main problems with the situation were that “people in this country talk like they’re experts when they don’t understand anything,” and that “Israelis don’t know how to give credit where it’s due.”
Regarding the shooting of a Jaffa man on the Tel Aviv seafront on Saturday afternoon, Danino said that “if it had been 50 meters back [in Jaffa], no one would have cared, but because it was next to the Tahana [shopping area], everyone was screaming to the high heavens.”
Israel’s top cop then told the police officers present, “I already stopped listening to the radio. I suggest that you do the same.” He added that recent public scrutiny was something that would pass in a couple of weeks.
Danino’s comments were published by a Channel 2 reporter who had been invited to attend the tour.
In response to the report, the police said that Danino had made the comments in response to concerns police had expressed about the criticism they were receiving in the media and that the meeting was supposed to have been off the record.