The nomination of former senior IDF officer Gal Hirsch to head the police force is sending shock waves through the police who will have to deal with a commander untainted by corruption or sex scandals. Hirsch even thinks terrorists should be shot.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan of the Likud nominated Hirsch last night, one day after the minister wrote a letter to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon calling on him to bar two radical Muslim groups from entering the Temple Mount, where they are paid to harass and attack Jews.
The two moves are related. Both of them reflect Erdan’s no-nonsense approach to the police allowing anarchy at Judaism’s most holy site and to a moral decaying police force that is viewed with disgust by most of the public. Hirsch is to replace Yohanan Danino, whose weeks-long farewell extravaganza were the tasteless icing on an unsavory cake of egocentricity.
Hirsch, whose nomination must be approved by the government and a non-governmental committee before he can take over as police chief, brings with him a far from perfect past, particularly because of his alleged failure at the beginning of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
The 51-year-old general left the IDF three years ago and now is chairman of an educational NGO and a consulting company. The Winograd Committee that investigated the IDF’s management of the war concluded that Hirsch was not to blame for events that set off the war, the kidnapping and murder of reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev by Hezbollah
Erdan candidly explained that he could not find someone within the police force who satisfied his requirements to head the law enforcement agency.
He referred to corruption scandals and sexual harassment by several senior police officers, but he had no need to clarify his reasons.
The image of the police is filthy, and the most recent blunder was the police allowing a known maniac with hate for homosexuals to walk freely at a homosexual parade in Jerusalem earlier this month, even though he was fresh out of jail and was an obvious suspect to attack people at the parade.
He now faces a charge of murdering a teenage girl whom he stabbed to death. He also knifed several other people at the parade.
Erdan, in a gross understatement, said that the public’s trust in the police has suffered “much damage.”
Top police officers, including at least one who thought he should be appointed as new commander, are furious at Erdan for naming someone from outside the clubhouse.
The police may have to get used to a new kind of policy, one that has zero tolerance for sexual harassment, brutality, especially against Arabs and right-wing Jews, and corruption.
Perhaps Hirsch might even be able to improve the traffic police, who know how to set radar traps and then set the wrong example for motorists by speeding when they are finished handing out tickets.