In 1975 shortly after the Yom Kippur War and during the first government of the late Yitzhak Rabin, Israel experienced disintegration of personal security. After a period of terrorist attacks and public protests in which citizens demanded tools to be able to defend themselves, it was decided to establish a 'Civil Guard' as a voluntary national organization, not under the authority of the police but alongside it. The late Mulah Cohen of Kibbutz Alonim received the rank of lieutenant and was appointed to establish the 'Civil Guard' with an independent organizational structure similar to the Israeli Police. Shortly after, over 500 operating bases were established throughout the country and the main activities of the volunteers were doing walking rounds and creating a visible presence.
According to Eli Hod's research data, from his book on 'Processes in the Development of the Israeli Police', at its peak the 'Civil Guard' reached the scale of more than 130,000 volunteers.
From day one, the Civil Guard was established with the assistance of the IDF, the Border Patrol, and in 1985 the police recommended for the first time to unite the headquarters of the Border Patrol and the Civil Guard under the Israeli Police, a suggestion that was implemented starting in 1986, under a body that would later be called the AKAM (Community division and the Civil Guard).
The 'Civil Guard' received diverse tasks over the years and they were defined by law, including the training and mobilization of volunteers in a variety of situations.
In 2011, a change took place in the volunteer structure when the Police Commissioner Danino decided to close the AKAM and demote the supervisor of the field of volunteers from a chief officer to a deputy chief officer.Not surprisingly, the police's dispersal of the field of volunteers was reflected at that time in a serious deterioration in the personal security situation of the country's citizens.
The first to be affected were the farmers whose property is in the open areas, as opposed to closed spaces. As the front line, they suffered theft, arson, weakening battles of invasions and takeover of land at the hands of criminal elements. It is not for nothing that law-abiding citizens rallied to establish "HaShomer HaChadash" in order to help farmers continue their important mission. At the same time, the extortion and racket industry developed and grew to huge proportions in almost all branches of industry, construction, and infrastructure. A known and recognized point in state tenders.
At the end of 2020, dozens of violent and extreme events that we heard of convinced us that an explosion of enormous proportions was upon us.
After a thorough thought process and consultation with police officials and the Border Patrol, we formulated a recommendation to the Minister of Homeland Security at the time, Amir Ohana, that the most skilled force should be removed from police work in small teams to work in the model of a unit, like the Border Patrol. That would enable doubling its size by the volunteer model that was neglected and went through a disintegration process following the structural changes of the Israeli Police. Shortly thereafter, in May 2021, our gloomy prediction came true.
In order to provide an immediate response to the threat of 'Guardian of the Walls' 2.0, we saw that the model of establishment under a director led by a project manager as was the case during the Corona period is the best solution, since the country has changed and with it, the models require re-evaluation. There are many names and models to compare and learn from. From a seminal article written by Major General Aharon Haliva following the
"Guardian of the Walls", in which he first called for the establishment of a "National Guard", "code name" for a body whose purpose would be a return to the large-scale "civil guard" model but under an existing body that is already experienced in the routine mobilization of volunteers, but with an important innovation – calling on volunteers even in times of emergency.
Any other model at this time is not feasible and will simply be a continuation of the feet dragging (to say the least) in providing a response to the personal security crisis of the State of Israel in the face of a "Guardian of the walls' 2.0 scenario.
In the absence of mass police recruitment (as we know, for every 1.2 policemen who leave, one policeman joins), a volunteer model under the 'Border Patrol' and the command of the Police Commissioner is required for a group of reserves from the age of 38 to guard neighborhoods and homes, instead of guarding the borders. Although in the past the 'Civil Guard' was not established under the Israeli Police, the existing conditions require that it be done under the 'Border Patrol' and as part of the overall formation of the Israeli Police.
On the eve of Passover, we must remember that our freedom depends on our unity and the actions we will take together with an emphasis on mutual responsibility.