'Study leave' equivalent to dismissal, says former deputy police chief

Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said Southern District chief Cmdr. Uri Bar-Lev should have accepted their repeated offers to go on a two-year study leave. So why has Bar-Lev turned them down? According to MK and former deputy police commissioner Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Cohen's offer to Bar-Lev of a study leave was a clear signal: Your time on the force is up. "When a senior officer is told to go on study leave, and it is not from his own initiative, that means he is being shown the way out," Aharonovitch explained. "It means: leave us alone, we have no position for you. Bar-Lev understood the signal, and was right to interpret it as meaning that he was being shown the door," he added. Offers of positions at the end of the study leave were hopelessly unreliable, Aharonovitch added. "In our country, who knows what will happen in a year. Promises of positions two years down the line don't mean much," he said. "There have been instances of senior figures being sent on study leave and then the commissioner having a change of heart and calling them back into service," he added, "But in Uri's case, they did not want him. Dichter must end this farce, and find him a position. It would be a shame to lose Bar-Lev."