Nissim Mash’al opened the interview with the question – whether he is bothered by the possibility that a demonstrator will kill or be severely injured during protest demonstrations. To this, the former Jerusalem District Commander, retired Aryeh Amit, responded without hesitation: “It’s not that I’m bothered by this possibility, I’m almost certain that this possibility will happen.” According to him, “We are in a situation where because of simply awful leadership, there is a situation of very, very, very hard hatred, between the right and anyone who is not right. Not necessarily whoever is on the left, anyone who criticizes the prime minister is an enemy.”
He explained that “we are no longer talking about small demonstrations but about huge demonstrations of thousands of people. When there is a demonstration of thousands of people on one side, and hundreds or thousands more on the other side; and when there is a way to the demonstration that can not be fully monitored, And way out of the demonstration which also can not be 100% supervised; when there are demonstrators whose theme of demonstration is the most justified in the world, but their behavior is not always good and right – very often nothing is coordinated with the police, and even if coordinators they go to all sorts of places and marches; “A situation in which the police will not be able to guarantee 100% of protection, neither to this side nor to this side. The person will stand up with a knife and do what he wants to do.”
Therefore, the former Jerusalem District Commander believes that “one should take care of the situation that the police will not be handcuffed because of criticism and murderous descent on it, and making the police a target, instead of understanding that the target is the government, and the police do their job. “Complaints should be made, this is how you can disperse riots only by using force that always looks very bad, and you can always catch one policeman who lost his temper and used too much force.” In his opinion, “If you have to use a lot of force to restore order, then you have to use a lot of force. Including parachutes that I do not know where the attack on this tool came from, it has been used for decades by all the police in the world. I see everything from a professional point of view, without politics. ”
Nissim Mash’al noted to Amit the terrible pain felt when the protesters hit the demonstrators, but the retired superintendent was not moved, saying in response: That’s part of the price. The police do not use it to harm people or, God forbid, to kill them, it is a tool aimed at dispersing an illegal demonstration, that’s all. Therefore, any legitimate tool that the police have to deal with disturbances and is a legal tool – it will be used. “I am afraid that because of the criticism and ‘overthrow’ of the police, the motivation to do the job even when it is difficult and looks bad will get hurt – it will be bad.”
“We will pay a very high price for it”
Later, Mashaal noted that the biggest problem of the police is public distrust, in a survey conducted for 103fm it was found that 44% of the public think that the police are influenced by political considerations. To this a colleague replied: “The police as an organization is not politically influenced by anything, what is it? “To answer the phone call of someone or another and say ‘done and heard’, it’s awful and it exists and it should not be. But that’s not the goal, it’s individual officers.”
He added: “The police are the most non-political that can be, and the police put their personal opinions completely aside. It is worth stopping the great panic from these demonstrations, because there were a thousand times more difficult and dangerous demonstrations in the history of Israel.” Right-wing demonstrations during the Oslo and Rabin agreements. I was the district commander, I will not forget the demonstration in the same place in France Square, which right-wing demonstrators tore a horse and smashed with sticks and irons, smashed it. I know everything, both right and left and the problem is “Police officers will continue to be beaten all the time by criticism and harassment – we will pay a very high price for it. A police officer who sees something criminal and takes his eyes off and says ‘I do not care’ is an unparalleled danger.”
But Nissim Mash’al wondered how he could argue so, when Jerusalem District Commander Doron Yadin told Homeland Security Minister Amir Ohana (Likud) clearly that stricter enforcement was being carried out in the Balfour demonstrations. A colleague said: “Criticism is an important and fine thing but not about them, the police are not political, there are people in it, some officers and some even a few seniors, who bend their integrity a bit for personal consideration.”
In conclusion, are you sure that the possibility of murder or serious injury to a ceiling protester?
“Unequivocally, if we continue in that direction it will happen.”
And on the other hand, the police are not tainted with political considerations and if they have to weigh down, use a lot of force – will they use it?
Edited by Ofri Glichman, 103FM