Photo Credit: Courtesy
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir outside the offices of Israel Police internal affairs, March 12, 2024.

On Tuesday night, as part of the joyous celebrations of holy Ramadan in the Shuafat “refugee” camp in eastern Jerusalem, rioters threw Molotov cocktails and shot fireworks at Israeli security forces, because, you know, they’re Jewish and breathing, and said forces fired back and fatally wounded 13-year-old Rami Hamdan Al-Khalakhuli, who should have been home breaking the fast with his family. When little Rami arrived at Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, he was pronounced dead. The police sent a report to the Dept. of Police Officer Investigations (Mahash, or Internal Affairs), which promptly launched an investigation.


National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who has made it his business from his first day in office to provide solid backing to police officers, on Tuesday night arrived at the Mahash offices, declaring, “All the professionals tell me how dangerous these fireworks are, they can blind, they can hurt, they can even murder our fighters. A fighter goes and does exactly what we expect of him – it’s simply the biggest scandal that they drag him here for questioning.”

Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara did not like the gesture and on Wednesday morning, presumably right after her first morning coffee, sent ben Gvir a stern letter, saying: “Any interference on your part in investigations, directly or indirectly, violates the law, seriously harms the rule of law, and constitutes a politicization of the law enforcement systems and a prohibited influence.”

“Mahash is destroying the deterrence of the State of Israel and harming our fighters,” Ben Gvir said Tuesday night. “I was sure that after October 7 they would learn and understand, but Mahash doesn’t understand. I want to say as the person in charge of these fighters, knowing that the entire Israel Police agrees with me, we will not abandon these fighters, we will support them.”

State Attorney Amit Isman repeated the gist of the AG’s letter, saying, “Any intervention on behalf of a political entity in criminal investigations – directly or indirectly – constitutes a flagrant violation of the law, harming the rule of law in an improper and prohibited manner. There is no place for statements directed against the Department of Police Investigations at the State Attorney’s Office, which potentially harm the independence of the law enforcement system.”

It should be noted that no charges have been issued against the Border Police fighter and that his investigation is in keeping with the protocol that requires an investigation whenever police action results in the death of a civilian.

What Ben Gvir was doing is reminiscent of a baseball manager who rushes out of the dugout to yell at the umpire after a bad call. He screams into the umpire’s face, he kicks up sand, and he flails his arms, all the while knowing there’s no chance in the world the umpire would change his call.

He’s doing it for the next batter.

Ben Gvir is throwing his weight around like the bull in a police souvenir shop so that the investigators inside know that he’s watching them.

Also, from now until the fall, expect more baseball metaphors from yours truly.


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