A week after the Zeiler Committee issued its damning report on the police that led to the resignation of Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - in his first public remarks on the issue - said it is time to stop picking on on them.
"Enough kicking the police," he said at the start of Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting. "The time has come for Israel to have a police [force] whose officers are not ridiculed."
In an effort to raise morale, Olmert said he wanted to send his best wishes to the thousands of policemen and policewomen who "do their job with determination and sacrifice.
"This is the same police force that last week prevented a terrorist attack in Bat Yam," he said. "It seems to me that the time has come to stop kicking the police and its courageous officers. We want a secure police force that does its job, and not people who roll their eyes at policemen. We have no other police force."
Olmert praised Karadi, saying: "You are a decent man who has done a great deal for Israeli security, and will still do much for the Israeli public. "
Later in the day, Karadi continued with what sources close to him described as his policy of acting "in a statesmanlike manner to protect the police organization" from further damage.
In an address to the Israel Accountants Organization at the Royal Hotel by the Dead Sea, he acknowledged Olmert's kind words about the police force
"The answer to everything is to act and not to talk," Karadi said, adding that although "the issues are burning like fire in his bones," he would forgo personal interests to pursue the greater interest of the police.