This position paper is written in light of the draft resolution that will be put to the government’s vote to establish a national guard “subordinate to the Ministry of National Security,” which will be “a dedicated, skilled, and trained force that will be used to handle emergency scenarios, nationalist crime, and fight terrorism, as well as to strengthen governance in areas where this is required,” and promotion of the necessary legislative amendments and government decisions to anchor the powers of this national guard and its personnel. The draft further notes that “there is need for a skilled and trained dedicated force that can simultaneously operate in several arenas and deal with disturbances and emergency scenarios… to allow the Israel Police to concentrate on their day-to-day traditional core tasks, which are often compromised due to recurrent disturbances and emergency situations that cause harm to the citizens.”
- The proposal will enable the government to establish a private military militia typical of dictatorial regimes, as is evident from the role assigned to it to strengthen “governance.”
- The establishment of a national guard will weaken the Israel Police, which already suffer from a shortage of personnel, equipment, and budgets, and will therefore hinder the fight against crime and corruption.
- The establishment of a national guard is likely to increase the politicization of the Israel Police and make them hesitate to investigate corruption.
- The proposal will allow the government to choose the entire chain of command and recruits from among its loyalists.
- The proposed resolution will enable the government to issue new instructions for the use of force and bypass the legal limitations currently governing the operations of the Israel Police. “
- The terms used to define the role of this national guard (“emergency scenarios,” “governance,” “terrorism,” “disturbances”) are a dangerous recipe that will allow selective, political, and racist enforcement. The government could also send this national guard to universities and cultural institutions or to stop labor strikes, arguing that this is intended to strengthen governance.