Mandelblit: Immediately appoint permanent police chief

Moti Cohen replaced Roni Alsheich in 2018, but was never elevated to permanent status • High Court could require state to make appointment

Acting Chief of Police Motti Cohen speaks at the annual Justice conference in Airport City, outside Tel Aviv on September 03, 2019. (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Acting Chief of Police Motti Cohen speaks at the annual Justice conference in Airport City, outside Tel Aviv on September 03, 2019.
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit asked the High Court of Justice on Thursday to order the government to immediately appoint a permanent police chief.
Mandelblit was responding to one of a series of petitions trying to get the government to move on stalled appointments stemming from the political deadlock between the Likud and Blue and White.
Acting Police Commissioner Moti Cohen replaced Roni Alsheich in December 2018, but was never elevated to permanent status. Moreover, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana has made it clear that he would not grant Cohen permanent status and wanted to replace him.
Originally, Cohen could not be replaced because for the 18 months of three rounds of elections, there was no permanent government authorized to make permanent appointments. But since the current government was established in May, the delay has come from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire to influence the appointment of the next state attorney.
Since Blue and White does not want Likud to veto its pick for that post, the Likud has frozen almost all major such appointment, including the police chief post.
Technically, Netanyahu has agreed that he will not personally be involved in the police chief and state attorney appointments.
However, his lieutenants in the Likud can still keep the positions frozen based on the coalition agreement, which requires consensus between Likud and Blue and White.
Mandelblit’s argument to the High Court was that the requirement to have a permanent police chief overrides any political deadlock or coalition agreement that happens to be holding it up.