Pundits and commentators in the media had a great deal of criticism for the government, both national and local, for their performance in the major winter storm Israel experienced last week. Seven days after the snow piled up in Jerusalem, Binyamin, Samaria, and the Galilee, schools in many towns - especially in the north - are still closed, while thousands were still without power as late as Wednesday morning as the Israel Electric Company struggled to reconnect everyone to the grid.
Among the institutions that have been slammed in the media are the police – and National Police Commander Yohanan Danino has taken offense. Police, he said in a press conference Thursday, risked their lives and gave up their home life for nearly a week as they traveled the length and breadth of the country.
“One cannot ignore the criticism that was leveled at the governing authorities during the unusual storm that hit our region,” Danino told a gathering of police. But his department has nothing to hide, he said. “From the facts that I am familiar with, all of the units of the Israel Police acted in a professional and proper manner.
“We are willing to open our doors to any criticism and are willing to learn from it,” Danino added. “But there is a difference between proper criticism designed to help us improve, and the wild accusations that are not based on facts. Last week, I called for an end to the backbiting and spiteful comments, and to dedicate our energy to restoring life to normal as best as we could,” Danino said.
His force did what it could to help in that process. “While the police and other rescue services were busy saving lives, the pundits were calling for a government investigation.” While his force was willing to learn lessons, Danino added, the police could be proud of their actions. “Israelis once again learned that they have someone to rely on,” he said.