Former police chief Roni Alsheich expressed disillusionment on Thursday with “the politicization of everything,” which he said leads to a situation in which people think “if you are on the right you need to be against law enforcement, and if you are on the left, you need to be for it."He said this is a "grave threat” to the country.
Speaking at the Israel Bar Association in Haifa, Alsheich, who stepped down from his role in December 2018 and has not had a permanent replacement to date, was arguing that political fighting over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s case and other issues have destroyed bi-partisan support for law enforcement, which is crucial for the country to function.
He argued that there was no alternative to the police and other official law enforcement agencies protecting the country from crime and corruption and that those attacking law enforcement needed to internalize this as a basic civics lesson.
The comment itself carries some irony as Alsheich's personal politics are considered to be right-wing.
Alsheich also attacked the current situation in which Moti Cohen has been the temporary-acting police chief for nearly a year without the government being able to formalize a permanent chief.
Even as the current situation is partly due to unavoidable limitations from making a permanent appointment due to there being only transitional governments since March, and due to Netanyahu’s legal situation, Alsheich said the temporary chief could not act independently as the state needs.
Some on the left have argued that Netanyahu’s refusal to step down to date despite the public corruption charges against him are responsible for holding up the appointment of a permanent chief.
Alsheich was close with Netanyahu when he was appointed, and early in his term, even made efforts to protect the prime minister and his wife, Sarah, from any embarrassing situations. However, by the end of his term, the prime minister viewed ,Alsheich as an enemy for endorsing the bribery charges against him.