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.