Photo Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon / Flash 90
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Chief of police Kobi Shabtai, May 2, 2023.

In May 2022, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai submitted to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett his proposal for drawing lessons from the failures of Operation Guardians of the Wall. To remind you, that operation, which lasted from May 10 to 21, 2021, involved both massive Hamas rocket attacks as well as Arab riots in the mixed cities inside Israel: Lod, Ramla, Jaffa, Acco, Haifa, and Jerusalem.

The commissioner recommended, and PM Bennett agreed, the establishment of an Israeli National Guard. It would consist of the 20 combat companies that already exist in the Border Guard, with an additional 26 combat companies, 8 of which were already in the process of being established. They would be joined by some ten thousand volunteers, eight thousand of whom had already been recruited, and a company consisting of IDF reservists who will keep their weapons at home for quick deployment.


Following the change in government in November 2022, the new National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, picked up where his predecessors had left, and established a committee to plan turning those ideas into a reality.

Last week, Deputy Attorney General Gil Limon sent Ben Gvir a letter complaining that the minister had not seen fit to appoint a representative of the AG’s office to the committee.

“The issues at hand raise fundamental and weighty legal questions,” Limon wrote. “In light of the above and bearing in mind that according to the government’s decision, they will be submitted by the Minister of National Security for the government’s approval, and it is possible that the promotion of legislation would be required, there is a need for an element that would help the committee formulate outcomes to answer the legal complexities that are on the agenda, and help in making a decision that meets the difficulties described.”

I ask you: does the paragraph above sound like its author wishes to solve problems, or create them?

Minister Ben Gvir said in response that “the dear Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara must understand and integrate the fact that her role is to advise, and my role is to decide whether to accept and implement the advice or not. I decided not to.”

This response made me happy for two reasons: 1. Because Ben Gvir has learned from the experience of the legendary frog and would no longer carry scorpions on his back across rivers; and, 2. Ben Gvir has learned the value of short and sweet answers. They’re the best.


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