Merav Michaeli
Merav MichaeliFlash 90

Merav Michaeli, leader of Israel's Labor party, is working against the proposed reforms that would give MK Itamar Ben-Gvir unprecedented authority over the Israel Police should his expected appointment as Minister of National Security come to pass.

"The Labor party just held a working meeting with Minister of Internal Security Omer Barlev, to discuss all the details that make Itamar Ben-Gvir's proposals dangerous for the citizens of Israel, for the State of Israel and certainly for its democracy," Michaeli says.

"The Israel Police is a body that must serve all citizens of Israel, a body that must maintain the security of every citizen. The country must continue to be governed by the law, with equality before the law. According to the law, the police is subject to the law. This bill by Itamar Ben Gvir comes to abolish the independence of the Israel Police, to abolish the independence of the police commissioner and to turn the police into a political force. That would mean a police that is at the service of whoever is the Minister of Police at the time. Ben-Gvir wants a police force that will serve him politically," Michalei accuses.

"He wants to decide which demonstrations will be approved and which will not, which investigations will be carried out and which will not, who will be prosecuted and who will not be prosecuted. We will not allow the Israel Police to be kidnapped. The State of Israel must not become a political police state," she insists.

Current Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev commented on the proposed bills as well: "The proposal has no legal basis, will put the police completely under the control of the politicians, and will leave the police like a puppet on a string. The proposal will lead to the destruction of the Israel Police and the destruction of democracy in Israel. This bill will crush the independence of the Israel Police. This is about the destruction of democratic government in the State of Israel."

"While the IDF is authorized to use force against external enemies, the Israel Police works for the citizens of the country. The Israel Police is subject first and foremost to the laws of the country. There is a clause in the bill that says the next minister will have the authority to set policy regarding investigations, when to open cases, when to pursue prosecution. On all these issues the minister will be allowed to set policy. He can also decide that throwing stones is not worth investigating or looking into. The same is true for injuries caused to Border Police troops by hilltop youth spraying them with pepper spray. This damages operational capacity, not only investigations. The minister will be able to order ten police cars to be brought to a certain location even if the police commissioner's professional view is that it is not necessary."

MK Ben-Gvir commented: "Omer Barlev, the most failed Minister of Public Security, should have resigned a long time ago and not left the house. Barlev and Michaeli's problem is not the bill for the police order, but who will implement the policy - Itamar Ben-Gvir. The time has come to fix what the previous government destroyed and fight crime, protectionism and return personal security to the streets," said Ben-Gvir.