(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A send-off party last week for outgoing police commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino cost NIS 410,000 in taxpayer money, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Wednesday in response to a parliamentary query.
The question was submitted by MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union) following reports in the press about the event – including that singer Keren Peles had been paid NIS 37,000 to sing a short set for Danino and the hundreds in attendance, and that NIS 34,000 had gone to comedian Avi Nussbaum to MC for the evening.
In addition, Danino received jeers afterward on social media once it emerged that hundreds of guests had received copies of a children’s book printed specially for the party, called My Father the Commissioner. The book featured pictures of Danino and rhyming text throughout, and closed with the line, “He’s my father, but actually, he’s also the father of all the police.”
The event was closed to the press, and in response to media requests to cover the event, the Israel Police said that the Police Spokesman’s Unit would provide coverage.
Erdan said Wednesday that he would instruct the next commissioner to reexamine how police organized such events. He said believed that the going-away party may have hurt the image and interests of the police, and that it was fitting to be thrifty with such events when the funding was coming from taxpayer shekels.
He clarified, however, that “I don’t think it would be right to put all of the focus on the police. There are other places that waste 100 times more and don’t get anywhere near the same focus.”
Erdan added that he thought it would have been proper to allow the press to cover the event.
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The party for Danino took place at the new NIS 2.9 billion, 64,000 sq.-m. academy that police dedicated in April outside Beit Shemesh.
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