'Netanyahu lashing out as evidence against him mounts'

Former head of Police Control upset by PM's criticism of police; says information published not necessarily from leaks.

Mordechai Sones,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

The Prime Minister and police officials traded accusations over the weekend, with Prime Minister Netanyahu accusing the police of leaking large amounts of material from probes targeting him, claiming that such leaks have soared since Lior Horev was appointed external adviser to the police. Police, on the other hand, have accused the Prime Minister of intentionally disrupting the investigation.

Arutz Sheva spoke with retired Superintendent Avi Davidovitch, who also served as head of the Israel Police Internal Control Unit and Deputy Head of the National Serious and International Crimes Unit.

"I am very sorry that Netanyahu is waging a de-legitimization campaign against state enforcement authorities, which is not only inappropriate on his part, but also worthy of condemnation," said Davidovich, now a professor of criminology at the University of Ariel.

As for allegations of leaks emanating from the interrogation rooms, Davidovitch says that these are not leaks at all. "Most of the material that reaches the media about investigations is not leakage, and therefore does not originate with the police," he said, adding that "hundreds of people have been interrogated and investigated, most of them with advisers and associates, so many people have an interest in providing information to journalists. So there is no leakage here, and many times close associates give information to a journalist and then stand in front of the cameras and attack the police."

In Davidovitch's opinion, even if journalists sometimes sound as if they are quoting from the interrogation protocol, this does not necessarily indicate a leak. "If I give testimony to the police, I will remember what I said and can pass on information to the journalist that sounds like a protocol," he says.

As for the police decision to use the information and public relations services of Lior Horev, who advises politicians and parties, Davidovich says: "I have known the police for several decades. Many of the chiefs of staff, certainly in recent decades, have done everything they can to improve the image of the police and needed outside consultants, so it is not wrong for a body such as the Israel Police to communicate with one person or another. It's like the Attorney General and the State Comptroller. You can check everything, but the Prime Minister is going into resolutions, context, and content undeserving of the Prime Minister. This is not a worthy level. He is not the lowest member of the nation."

As for claims that the Prime Minister is fed up with finding himself day and night dealing with Israel's security while at the same time suffering real or imagined persecution, Davidovich says, "A person is also known by his behavior during times of anger. It seems that the matter is getting serious and he understands that it's progressing to a point where he is endangered and therefore is resorting to these accusations."

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, however, compared Netanyahu's complaints to the leaks he suffered from during a police investigation he underwent, saying that those who leak information expect to be rewarded by favorable press.

More Arutz Sheva videos: