Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter marked a first on Sunday, a fact that he admitted only after he completed his review of a police and Prisons Authority honor guard under the bright afternoon sunlight.
"I am a person who becomes emotional easily," the former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief told the assembled crowd at a celebratory toast, "but today was really something special for me. I've reviewed German honor guards before, Polish honor guards, Egyptian honor guards, and even - it's kind of funny to say - Palestinian honor guards. But today is the first time I've had the honor of reviewing an Israeli honor guard."
The incoming minister offered compliments to outgoing minister Gideon Ezra, Dichter's former commander in the Shin Bet, saying that the 20 months of Ezra's tenure in office were the most challenging in the history of the ministry and of the police.
Dichter said that his top priority was maintaining the rule of law.
"Anyone who threatens or hits a police officer will be met with an iron fist," he said, adding
"Representatives of the law will not be trampled."
"Our time is short, our work is long and hard, but the people of Israel have demanded: 'Give us back our security,'" Dichter said.