'Police force mostly clean,' Zeiler and Mazuz tell Knesset

"The main problems are enforcement, internalization of norms and control mechanisms that would identify irregularities, and here this didn't happen."

Zeiler 298.88 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Zeiler 298.88 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
There have been serious indiscretions and irregularities in making police appointments, former Tel Aviv District judge Vardi Zeiler told the Knesset Interior Committee on Tuesday. "The main problems relate to enforcement, internalization of norms and control mechanisms that would identify any irregularities, and here this didn't happen," he said. The retired judge headed the Zeiler Commission that slammed top police official's conduct in the Perinian affair in a report published on Sunday. In its wake, Police Insp.-Gen Moshe Karadi resigned. However, Zeiler said the events described in the report could not be taken as representative of the police force as a whole. "To talk about this as an earthquake in the police force is too broad, because the committee has only looked into one very narrow area. One affair was examined, and if there are many similar affairs, then the whole police force is infected," he said. Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz told the legislators he also didn't believe the commission's conclusions applied to the entire force. Mazuz said the police had been going through a series of organizational changes and improvements in internal inspections. He said he had appointed a team to implement the report's recommendations together with the State Attorney's Office and the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department. "The public's trust in the law enforcement system is a critical component in these bodies' ability to operate and function," he said. Interior Committee Chairman MK Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor) said the police needed to enter a period of "serious self-examination." "The Israel Police has to be shaken up and undergo profound change to rebuild the public's trust," he said. Earlier, Paz-Pines criticized the speed with which Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter named a new police commissioner, Israel Prisons Service Chief Warden Yaakov Genot. "I would have liked to have a professional body in charge of examining the candidates over time in order to reach an optimal result," Paz-Pines said.