Dichter sticks to his guns, seeks chief from outside the police force

One day after Israel Prison Service Chief Warden Ya'akov Genot withdrew his candidacy for the position of Israel's top cop, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter remained backed into an uncomfortable corner, with no apparent replacement for his first-choice nominee. "The steps you took yesterday did not diminish my respect for you," Dichter told Genot Tuesday during the IPS's 2006 summary in Haifa. "I don't know any other word than 'revolution' to describe what you have done in the IPS. This is yours. It is all yours and nobody can take that away from you." "I learned to understand that with you, the word 'no' doesn't exist. 'No' to the country doesn't exist," Dichter continued. Commenting on Genot's decision Monday, Dichter added that he "respected" Genot's decision. Although he left the ceremony quickly, the public security minister thanked Genot and his officers for a successful year. Following Genot's decision, the Terkel Commission announced Tuesday that they would refrain from publishing their conclusions - believed to be negative - regarding Genot's candidacy. The commission did, however, approve current assistant police chief Cmdr. Benny Kaniak to replace Genot as head of the IPS. Sunday will bring Kaniak's appointment to the government for approval. Meanwhile, a bevy of retired police officers and ministry officials called on Dichter to reconsider his decision not to consider any current police commanders as candidates for the top post in the Israel Police. Should Dichter reconsider, likely candidates would include Southern District Chief Cmdr. Uri Bar-Lev and Tel Aviv District Chief Cmdr. David Zur. Zur seemed to be on the verge of submitting his resignation from the police after Dichter announced his nomination of Genot, but stepped back as it became clear that Genot was not a shoo-in for the job. Cmdr. Mickey Levy, who was supposed to be Genot's lieutenant, could also be a possible police candidate. But members of Dichter's office said Tuesday that their boss was sticking to his guns. Former IDF and Shin Bet officers were reportedly on the short list to replace Genot. Meanwhile, Dichter received a leg up Tuesday from the man whom he removed from the position, Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi. "Dichter must be given the time necessary to make a suitable choice," he said during a working inspection at the Zion Subdistrict headquarters in Jerusalem. "When I announced my decision to terminate my service with the Israel Police, I said that the government of Israel would determine the date and that I would continue until a suitable replacement is found," said Karadi. "In the work of the Israel Police, there is no such thing as a vacuum. I am here on a working visit…while police investigators are working on sensitive investigations and, at the same time, the police are planning the evacuation from the Homesh outpost."