Security Cracks: Can National Guard Fill Them In?

The government authorized on Sunday a national guard sought by Itamar Ben-Gvir to focus on Arab unrest but held off on giving him direct command after political rivals voiced concern the force could become a sectarian “militia.”

Having recanted some of his youthful views, he joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition with an expanded law-and-order portfolio that he pledged would include a beefed-up national guard for use mainly in crime- and rioting-hit Arab communities. “It will deal with this exclusively. The police don’t deal exclusively with this. It’s busy with a thousand and one things,” he told Army Radio.

The cabinet said in a statement that the question of whom the national guard would be subordinate to remained open. A multi-agency panel has been appointed to submit recommendations on this and other issues within 90 days.

It’s one thing that Israel’s security forces are able to fight off Arab unrest. It’s a whole other matter when, in some cases, Arab unrest is treated with kid gloves while Jewish residents are treated like terrorists. Nevertheless, we would like to see the National Guard prove itself to be a new and vital component of Israel’s security.

Gov’t greenlights creation of anti-riot national guard, raising concerns, by Reuters and ILH Staff, April 3, 2023

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