Roni Alshich
Roni Alshich Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Israel Police have suffered continuous political critics and media attacks after police Commissioner Roni Alshich laid out the ongoing plan to fight migrant crime in a speech on Tuesday at a conference of the Israeli Bar Association.

Taken out of context, Alshich seemed to legitimize racism, saying it is "natural" for police to suspect Ethiopian migrants. In reality, Alshich was detailing his plan for improving race relations by removing stereotypes among his own police officers, and by working jointly with community leaders to bring law and order to the migrant neighborhoods of Israel.

On Wednesday, police officials noted in a conversation with Arutz Sheva that the media did, in fact, take things out of context; they explained that Alshich was presenting criminological studies which indicate a phenomenon which makes the authorities responsible for crime.

"There were those who find it easier to distort the words of the commissioner and use them as fuel. In reality, the police work daily to strengthen their connection with the Ethiopian community, to take young people out of the cycle of crime, and all of this - in order to resolve a social problem which has been going on for years, which was dropped on the doorstep of the police," a police official said.

Others in the police force emphasized during the conversation that the attack was not "happenstance," as they put it. "There are those who marked him as soon as he took office, and are certain to lash out and [figuratively] flay him without restraint."

"Alshich is a security professional, with years of experience working for the nation of Israel and the security of Israel. His actions are worth more than the chatter of the media. The things he said at the conference, are being said all over the world - even if they're difficult to listen to, and unpleasant - but this is the situation, and those are the facts."

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) defended Alshich last night, saying that Alshich did not justify the phenomenon of over-policing descendants of Ethiopia, rather, he was describing the attitude of police officers which had caused them to act incorrectly in the past.

Alshich's speech, in hebrew:

המפכ"ל: טבעי שחושדים יותר באתיופים