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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Police Commissioner’

Speaker Edelstein Calls on AG to Conclude Police ‘Blackmail List’ Investigation

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday demanded that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit conclude his examination of a secret Israel Police dossier which reportedly details evidence regarding alleged offenses committed by Knesset members.

In his letter to the Attorney General, Edelstein said, “On June 22, 2016 a meeting was held in my office with the Police Commissioner and the head of the Police Investigations and Intelligence Department regarding the police document that was prepared in 2014 and which summarizes criminal and intelligence information on Knesset members who served at the time. During the meeting I noted the sensitivity (of the matter) and the problematic situation that was created due to the fact that the existence of such a document had been leaked, because it allegedly casts a cloud over all Knesset members, and creates a feeling in the public as if dozens of Knesset members are suspected of criminal acts.”

“I also stressed the importance of publishing an official clarification as soon as possible, to the public and the Knesset members, regarding the list from 2014 and its relevancy, as much as it remains relevant today, so that on the one hand the public will be able to rest assured that Israel Police is doing its job faithfully and is investigating Knesset members when necessary, while on the other hand Knesset members will be certain that police are not holding information against them which could be revealed at some point down the line and hurt their work or chances of obtaining a certain position,” the letter reads.

“In response to my comments, the police commissioner said they were aware of the sensitivity (of the matter) and the harm caused to Knesset members and the Knesset by the reports, and that the list had been submitted for your examination so that an official clarification regarding this list could be released soon,” Speaker Edelstein told Mandelblit.

Edelstein stressed the urgency of concluding the examination and releasing the clarification “in order to minimize the damage caused by the continued reports about the list and by leaving them in the public and media environment without a clarification or official statement from the authorized elements.”

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh appeared before the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee on Wednesday and justified the document. “It was drafted so that it wouldn’t turn out later that there was something we should have reported to the State Prosecutor and Attorney General and for some reason it got stuck and did not surface [to be reviewed by] a person with authority.”

Israel’s Channel 10 News revealed last month the existence of a document nicknamed “The Yitzhaki Report” that was compiled under order of the head of the police investigations unit Maj. Gen. Meni (Menachem) Yitzhaki.

During the Knesset committee meeting, Yitzhaki told the Internal Affairs Committee that the document was written in order to comply with the attorney general`s guidelines.

Committee Chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) said: “The head of Investigations and Intelligence Branch has power by virtue of his position. Power corrupts, and great power corrupts more. Therefore, he must act with caution.”

“I read that 80 percent of police officers use internal information for their own personal needs. It is obvious that there is information being used by people who do not have the authority to do so,” MK Amsalem added. “Something terrible is happening here. Is the information only on Knesset members? Perhaps there is information about the commissioner? Maybe there are summaries on major generals in the police force? Or on judges and journalists? I don’t think Yitzhaki acted maliciously, but there is always potential for wrongful use.”


Israel Police Commissioner Reworks Top Brass

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Newly appointed Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich is reworking the department’s top brass.

Effective Wednesday, Jerusalem District police will be headed by former Southern District commander Maj.-Gen. Yoram HaLevy.

Former Jerusalem District commander Maj.-Gen. Moshe Edri is moving to head the Tel Aviv District instead.

In the south, Maj.-Gen. David Bitan will take over, and will leave his current position as head of Logistic Support.

There have also been a number of promotions, in part due to the number of senior officers who retired over the past few months.

Brig.-Gen. Yaakov Shabtai has been promoted to Maj.-Gen. and will now head the Border Guard Police unit. The former head of that department, Maj.-Gen. Amos Yaakov, is moving to become the new commander of the Coastal District.

Another promotion goes to Brig.-Gen. Alon Asur, who will now be Maj.-Gen. Alon Asur, and will be commander of the Northern District.

Brig.-Gen. to Maj.-Gen. Goes to Moshe Barkat now becomes commander of the Judea and Samaria District.

Brig.-Gen. Alon Levavi now becomes Maj.-Gen. Alon Levavi, and will head the Operations Branch.

In addition, two new major-generals are joining the Israel Police as well. One was recruited from the IDF, the other from the Shin Bet / Shabak (Israel Security Agency).

IDF Brig.-Gen. (res) Tzvi Tessler now becomes Maj.-Gen. Tzvi Tessler and will head the Israel Police Planning Department.

Hana Levi Julian

Can Israel’s New Police Commissioner Really Start ‘Right Foot Forward’ ?

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Israel’s much-discussed and formally “top secret” new police commissioner Roni Alsheich limped down the aisle Thursday to receive his insignia from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

Alsheich, 52, was the dark-horse candidate in the race for the job. His name was never spelled out in releases to media until the final choice was made due to his position as deputy director of the Shin Bet. In his acceptance remarks, he said that it was “just as well that I’ve broken my left leg, so that I can start the job with the right foot forward.”

The father of seven and grandfather of seven fell and broke his leg three weeks ago while leaving his house in Givat Shmuel, forcing the ceremony to be delayed. But the wry comment was also a reference not only to the tension that accompanied his selection to the post, but also to the parade of scandals that has wracked the top echelon of the nation’s police force.

Alsheich was properly admonished within hours at a cozy post-ceremony meeting at the president’s residence. Seated together with President Reuven Rivlin, the Israeli leader’s wife Nechama told the new commissioner: “I think you’re going to need both feet for this job.”

Alsheich became a deputy commander in the Paratroopers’ Brigade during his service in the IDF and then joined the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) in 1988. He served as the agency’s commander of the Judea and Samaria District and the Jerusalem District. In 2014 he became the agency’s deputy director.

He enters as head of the Israel Police at a time when its leadership has been torn apart with scandals ranging from various forms of corruption to sexual offenses.

The Israeli public has lost its trust in the sincerity and honesty of the higher echelons in the force; nor do many Israelis trust most of the rank-and-file police officers who are sworn to protect them, having too often experienced incidents to the contrary.

Not only will Alsheich be busy with sorting out the wreckage of the past, and contending with the security challenges of the present: he will undoubtedly also be called upon by his peers from abroad, seeking advice on how to improve the safety of their citizens as well.

Numerous senior officers have resigned over the past year. Those who remain are faced with protecting the public while working to restore faith in the force, while saluting a man who didn’t come up through their ranks, and whose very name may never have been known to them.

Can Roni Alsheich inspire the right confidence in those he will now lead?

Hana Levi Julian

Opposition Media Defeat Bibi on Ex-IDF Officer as Police Chief

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Former Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch has been removed as a candidate to take over the police department, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced Wednesday evening after the Yom Kippur holiday.

Israel’s establishment media, a synonym for anti-Netanyahu media, have campaigned daily to highlight criticism of Hirsch, primarily because of his conduct at the beginning of the Second Lebanese War.

Relatives of soldiers killed in the war have directly blamed Hirsch for not having responded properly to the kidnap of reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were killed by Hezbollah.

A government investigating commission cleared Hirsch of blame, and Erdan complained Wednesday in a statement:

He is a clean and innocent man. Hirsch is not suspected of anything, and no one has filed complaints against him.

Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein, whose recent opposition to several government decisions includes those that are not even in his realm of authority, put the death knell on Hirsch’s being police commissioner by saying it could take months before an investigation is finished concerning possible conflicts of interest concerning Hirsch’s private company that was involved in trading arms.

Weinstein left open the possibility that Hirsch in the end may not be cleared, and retired Supreme Court Justice Yaakov Turkel, head of the government committee that decides on the nomination of Hirsch, made things worse by stating last week he could not reach a conclusion.

In other words, the entire process will be dragged while the police department languishes without a permanent leader at a time when Jews in Jerusalem have become sitting ducks for Arab terrorists testing out their rock-throwing arms.

Now Weinstein has another feather in his hat to gain the good will of the anti-Netanyahu media and perhaps giving himself a better shot at being a Supreme Court justice in the future.

Netanyahu was bitter over Hirsch’s being yanked and stated:

Gal Hirsch is the right man for the post of Police Commissioner… For a month already Gal Hirsch’s good name has been trampled anew by critics. And for what? For agreeing to leave successful work and to report for a challenging and important national mission for all citizens of the state.

He agreed without hesitation and look what happened:

Slander and denigration. It is not proper to act this way toward someone who has sacrificed his best years, energy and talent on behalf of the State of Israel.

Now Erdan has to look for another candidate for chief of the police, whose upper echelon was furious at Erdan for nominating as police commissioner a man who has no record of sexual harassment or bribery, unlike many other senior police officers.

Weinstein promoted himself as an authority on the necessary background for a police commissioner by mocking Erdan’s desire to appoint a commissioner from outside the police department.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

8 Years too Late, ‘Cursing Policeman’ Major General Shaham Fired

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Former Jerusalem Police District chief Major General Niso Shaham was finally let go. Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino got together and fired him. To many in Israel, from all walks of life and all ends of the political map, this was a decision that should have been made years ago.

Shaham was fired full eight years after an incriminating 2005 video showing him instructing underlings to use merciless violence against Jews in who demonstrated in Kfar maimon against the uprooting of Jews from Gush Katif, Gaza, made it to You Tube.

It wasn’t just the subject matter of the video – a high ranking Israeli police officer ordering his men to be ruthless against Jewish civilians; it was also Shahar’s lowbrow language, replete with curses, references to excrement and imageries of ladies of the night in action, that created a cult of Niso Shahar Haters. He became the face of the Israeli bad policeman, more like his counterpart in Cairo than in, say, London.

“[prostitution expletive], let there be arrests, kapara, I want arrests, and I’m telling you, use the water cannon to disperse demonstrators, [excrement expletive] on them, let them burn, don’t hesitate, use the water cannon, you say I talked to Niso, Niso gave me permission in advance,” Officer Shaham was saying while the Channel 10 camera was rolling and the soundman was picking up every precious pearl. Mind you, this was regarding a peaceful demonstration – and Shaham was planning its deterioration into violence.

“I’m not some [street walker] who [description of what said street walker does for a customer]. I collect payment for [doing what the street walker does]… I will [be highly intimate] with the mother of their mother,” Niso was instructing his underling and the whole country was watching. Here’s the video. If your Hebrew is not good enough – I don’t know of a better incentive to check into an ulpan:

But, somehow, despite the mounting evidence showing Major General Shaham (second in rank only to the police commissioner) as an offensive public servant and obviously a terrible influence on the police force – the man managed to cling to his job, and was promoted to deputy chief of the Jerusalem district in 2007, and then, in 2011, chief of our men and women in police uniform in all of Jerusalem.

Interesting factoid: in 2007, when his promotion was announced, some good citizens, including Attorney David Shusheim, appealed it to the Supreme Court, saying his promotion will encourage even more violence and crude behavior on the part of police. The high court, in a cowardly fashion, went with the cursing bully, with a decision that, essentially, said, if the police brass want him, they must know what they’re doing. So now if you read about Israeli policemen tasing a man in Yitzhar while he is sitting quietly in his home – you know who had a chance to say it ain’t right but just didn’t.

By the way, the court record on Niso Shaham offers a complete recitation of his colorful curses and violent expressions. I’m no psychiatrist, but I just know the man could benefit from a hefty regime of Thorazine.

But Major General Niso Shaham was not defeated by his penchant for smacking heads and breaking bones, nor by his colorful language that’s now been recorded for posterity by the Supreme Court. Like all great men, Niso Shaham was caught by his zipper.

Two weeks ago, also after years and years of complaints that no one bothered to heed, the prosecution charged Niso Shaham with criminal sexual harassment and abuse against female cops under his command. Only then, when the police brass that defended and promoted this violent and uncivilized officer realized his peccadilloes were going to be splashed across the tabloids while he was still drawing a paycheck, and that could reflect on them.

So they finally did the right thing for all the wrong reasons.

Folks on the right are saying today that Niso Shaham is joining the long list of Israeli officials who participated in the crime of uprooting the Jews of Gush Katif and have paid a heavy price, some through a radical deterioration of their communication skills, others by a degradation of their political power. But if you ask me, that list will not be complete without adding to it the Supreme Court, who made all this injustice possible.

Yori Yanover

Has Israel Given Up The Fight Against Human Trafficking?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

In June, Israel’s police commissioner, Yochanon Danino, announced the dissolution of Sa’ar, a unit that specializes in cases dealing with the exploitation of foreign workers and refugees along with other issues related to migration and human trafficking.

In response, a special committee hearing was called by MK Orit Zuaretz, head of the subcommittee against human trafficking. All in attendance, including government representatives and numerous NGOs, opposed the decision to dismantle the only law enforcement agency equipped to deal with these increasingly important issues.

Following a petition filed by MK Zuaretz and NGOs Kav La’Oved and the Hotline for Migrant Workers, Supreme Court president Dorit Beinisch summoned Danino to explain his decision, one that is clearly regressive in the face of Israel’s new immigration dynamics.

Toward the end of the 1990s, Israel became one of the top destination countries for human trafficking, particularly for purposes of forced prostitution. Women from newly independent post-Soviet countries were brought to Israel by the hundreds to work in what became a brazen sex industry. Held captive without rights, these women were nothing short of modern slaves. In 2000, the U.S. State Department ranked Israel alongside Cambodia as one of the world’s worst human trafficking offenders.

Thankfully, the situation improved significantly over the past decade as police, MKs, and NGOs prioritized the issue. The Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Human Trafficking was formed alongside the Sa’ar unit with the goal of getting this issue under control. Trafficked women were identified and provided with medical assistance, legal aid, and diplomatic assistance to return home.

In 2004 alone, over 900 women were returned to their families. This was due to the successful cooperation of NGOs, the government, and the police.

Though Israel’s progress is commendable – and has been recognized by the international community – trafficking still exists in Israel. There are also a quarter-million foreign workers in Israel who do not enjoy basic civil rights or humane work conditions and are, therefore, vulnerable to exploitation.

Because closing one avenue for human trafficking will not immediately dismantle the lucrative trade, the problem requires renewed attention and vigilance. Robust and focused policing coupled with the promotion of rights and protection for the victims are paramount for addressing these issues appropriately.

While we should all be proud of Israel’s progress in combating human trafficking, we must realize our work is far from over. It is essential that a specialized Israeli police unit be tasked with understanding the trends, closing the borders and protecting the victims.

The urgency with which the Supreme Court is attempting to reverse the decision on the Sa’ar unit is not only an appropriate course of action but a critical one. We have a moral, political and legal duty to help end human trafficking in Israel and around the world, and we must not rest until the battle is won.

Kayla Zecher is projects coordinator for ATZUM’s Task Force on Human Trafficking (www.atzum.org).

Kayla Zecher

Erev Yom HaKippurim Memories

Wednesday, November 5th, 2003

This is a season when memories crowd my mind – so many memories that are bittersweet -bitter, because they are now only memories, and sweet, because just recalling them infuses me with strength. I rush to the cemetery – I pronounce a prayer, I spill out my heart, I wash the grave with my tears, and I depart with an ache in my soul. If only they could be here…. if only I could see their saintly faces and hear their wise gentle voices.

I cry for what was and is no more. I feel so badly for my grandchildren, who never knew Zeide, zt”l, and Mama, a”h, and the younger grandchildren who never knew my saintly husband, their loving Abba Zeide, zt”l. I am keenly aware that as many stories as I tell them, it can never be quite the same. How can I describe the tzidkus – the righteousness of my revered father, his pure chesed, his boundless love? He was a great Rebbe, but all who met him lovingly called him “Zeide” because they felt his enormous love, and it was that love that made him everyone’s Zeide. Without saying a word, Zeide always understood the burdens that weighed on every heart, and his brochos were like balm that healed the pain.

My mother, the rebbetzin, was adoringly referred to by everyone as Mama, because that’s what she was, a warm, caring mama who found room in her big heart for each and every person.

There were always dozens of people who were bereft of family who came to my parents for the seudahs – the meals before and after the fast. My mother had no household help, and she did not avail herself of ready-made products. She did it all by herself, but always with a song. Nothing was too much for her. In addition to preparing for the seudahs in her own home, she somehow managed to prepare a care package for every child as well – and as I said, “she was a mama to everyone,” so whoever entered her kitchen was treated as her child. Her supply of goodies was endless, her pots bottomless.

My husband, HaRav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, was a spiritual giant. He too, was a survivor of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He came to this country alone – his entire family had perished, but he always had a smile on his face – a smile that penetrated your heart and a positive spirit that buoyed and uplifted you. Just talking to him made you feel better. He had infinite patience, and he lived his life to help others.

On Rosh Hashana, he would come home from shul drenched with perspiration. He gave all his strength and energy to leading the services and inspiring his congregation. Although our shul was filled to capacity during these days, he always knew if someone was missing, so before he allowed himself to relax, he went to visit the sick to blow the shofar for them. It was only when he was confident that every one had heard the sound of the shofar that he felt comfortable about sitting down at the table.

In addition to his many rabbinic responsibilities, my husband was also the Chaplain of the Nassau County Police Department. During his illness, the Police Commissioner came to visit him in the hospital. I walked him to the elevator and thanked him for coming.

“Rebbetzin,” he said, “don’t thank me. It’s my greatest privilege to visit the Rabbi. You see,” he went on to explain, “I never understood the connection between goodness and G-d until the Rabbi became a bridge for me.”

As I write these lines, Yom Kippur is quickly approaching. I see their holy faces. On erev Yom Kippur, we would rush to my parents’ home for a brocha – blessing. My father would don his Shabbos rabbinic hat and coat. Lovingly, he would place his hands upon our heads, and as he blessed us, we felt his body tremble; his tears would flow freely down his long white beard. My father’s brocha emanated from his innermost soul. How I wish I could receive that brocha again! How I wish my children and grandchildren could be in his presence! How wonderful it felt to kiss his hand, and how loathe I was to leave that little house in Brooklyn.

As we prepared to leave, my parents would accompany us to the car and stand there until we turned the corner. I can still see them in my mind’s eye – their hands raised, waving, and whispering blessings.

As the years passed and illness took its toll, they would wave from the porch, and still later, they would wave from the front window, and later still, their eyes would follow us from their sick beds. And now, I hope and pray that they whisper their blessings from the heavens above.

When my parents passed on, it was my husband who would bless and wave, and now, that too has become a memory. Now I go with my children and grandchildren to the cemetery.

We stand in awe in front of these giants. Oh G-d. please let them hear us. Please let them know that we are here… Please grant that we be worthy of them. Memories, memories, memories…. It is Yom HaKippurim.

A gutt gebensht yahr to all of you my dear readers and friends, and a gutt gebensht yahr to K’lal Yisroel. We are a nation that lives on memories – Zchut Avot – may the merit of our forefathers sustain us.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/erev-yom-hakippurim-memories/2003/11/05/

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