Bar-Lev: 'I absolutely accept Cohen's authority'

Police commander asks High Court to erase petition he filed against police commissioner's decision to fire him.

uri bar lev 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
uri bar lev 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In what appears to be the end of the ongoing and widely-covered dispute between Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. David Cohen and Cmdr. Uri Bar-Lev, the latter filed a request to the High Court on Sunday asking to erase a petition he filed in September 2008 against Cohen's decision to fire him. In the request to the court, Bar-Lev stated that he "absolutely accepts" Cohen's authority, while the police commissioner, in turn, stated that his previous decision to fire Bar-Lev would not affect his rights in the future. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch's decision to return Bar-Lev to senior police ranks and appoint him as the Israel Police representative in the US, apparently contributed to settling the dispute. "In accordance with what the minister [Aharonovich] and the petitioner [Bar-Lev] agreed upon, the petitioner notifies the honorable court that he absolutely accepts the police commissioner's authority as his direct commander and as the commander of the entire Israel Police. The petitioner is sorry about any damage his petition may have caused to the organization and its leader," the request filed to the High Court read. The statement said that "ending the petitioner's forced vacation" had been agreed upon, and added that Bar-Lev would start preparing for his new position in the coming days. On Thursday, Cohen stated that he had no intention of quitting his post despite Aharonovitch's decision to reinstate Bar-Lev. He said that he respected the minister's "legitimate" decision, and denied that a crisis of confidence had erupted. On Wednesday night, the police commissioner held a conference call with police brass, and told them that while his stance on Bar-Lev was clear, Aharonovitch's authority to reinstate Bar-Lev was unquestionable, and that he had never doubted Aharonovitch's decision-making process or integrity. Ya'acov Lappin contributed to this report