The Police Chief Refused to Answer

The police chief refused to answer whether he would obey the High Court or the minister

After the Commissioner of Police clarified last night that he would act according to the law in the event of a constitutional crisis, Deputy Commissioner Yoram Sofer refused to answer the question of whether he would obey the High Court or the minister in charge of him: "These questions are not relevant to the issue"

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

Concern about a constitutional crisis: Deputy Commissioner Yoram Sofer, who is responsible for handling crime in the Arab sector within the police, refused to answer the question of whether he would obey the Supreme Court or the minister responsible for him in the case of conflicting directives. In a statement to the media this morning (Thursday), Sofer was asked about the matter following the statement made by Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai last night, in which he clarified that "the police have only one compass, and that is the law and the rule of law always."

In response to the question, Sofer said, "I am cautious not to predict what will happen. I serve the public, I am a man of law, and I believe that these questions are not relevant to the matter." Sofer is considered one of the potential candidates for the position of Police Commissioner after Shabtai's tenure ends in the upcoming January.

In parallel, Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir also addressed the statements made by Shabtai in his statement yesterday. "In my view, there is no contradiction between what the Police Commissioner said yesterday and what I am saying," he argued. "Certainly, the police must adhere to the law. The law dictates that the police are subject to the policy of the minister. The law dictates that all organizations, including the General Security Service and the IDF, are subject to the policy of the ranking statesman. Therefore, there is no contradiction. The ranking statesman sets legal policy, and the bodies implement them. That's how it works in a democracy. Israel went to elections and chose us. We need to draw the line and that's what we are doing."

As a reminder, yesterday Shabtai stated during a ceremony for the changing of commanders in the Border Police that "We have one professional, ethical, and non-political police force. In recent days, the question arises about what compass guides the police's actions. I want to clarify that the police have only one compass, and that is the law. As long as I am in command, the law will prevail, and it will operate accordingly."

In response to Shabtai's statements, Ben Gvir said, "The Commissioner is correct. Our police force is a non-political police force, it must operate in a non-political, royal, and legal manner. The law, principles of democracy, teach us that the people go to the ballot and express their opinion, and the elected officials must establish policy, and this policy is the one that everyone should act according to. That's how it works in a democracy. People go to elections, politicians are elected, and the policy they set should lead all of us."

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