Floating Voter / Our Cops, Our Crooks

This is not a police state, as people sometimes charge; it's a no-police state. The Israel Police is a broken vessel. The government achieved its aim: It spared no effort to weaken the police and prosecution, and it succeeded. That would be just what this government and Knesset needs: for policemen worthy of the name to be bothering them. There is no police, as any citizen who has ever been in trouble knows.

Anyone who wants to know more about the situation should follow the Zeiler Committee's hearings on the law enforcement agencies' shocking failures over the Parinyan brothers. Even if we absolve the commanders of the Southern District of collaborating with criminals, we cannot absolve them of incompetence.

Ya'akov Alperon also came home this week, and I'm prepared to wager at any Internet casino that the Gavrieli mountain will turn into a molehill. And Ze'ev Rosenstein would have remained free had American prosecutors not requested his extradition.

So why is it surprising that senior investigator Yom Tov Zohar's heart broke on Monday, the very day the Gavrieli affair was publicized? How could his heart not stop when a two-year-old investigation was halted by the parliamentary sword that a marginal MK pulled out of her purse and brandished before the policemen's stunned eyes?

In the Biblical story of Balak, an angel stands in the road with drawn sword. Balaam's ass sees him and refuses to go forward, but Balaam continues to beat him.

In our weekly portion, the story was reversed: The ass stood in the road, and the policemen saw it and came to a halt.

I'm not disappointed with the police and the prosecution, because I long ago stopped expecting much from them. But I am disappointed in our criminals. I've concluded that "organized crime" in Israel is indeed crime, but it isn't exactly organized. It's too amateurish. We don't even have organized crime worthy of the name.

In the rest of the enlightened world, underworld leaders have style. Have you ever heard of heads of crime families getting up in the middle of an important meeting, drawing their own knives and cutting their rivals' throats themselves? If they want to butcher, they employ foot soldiers. But here, the leading criminals act like street gangs. How can one not be disappointed?

Another example of criminal amateurism: Four volunteer border policemen arrested the police's "most wanted man," Amir Mullner, this week. They caught him red-handed - completely by chance. Four farmers went out one night to search for stolen calves and found Mullner.

What dozens of experienced investigators couldn't do was accomplished by an ad hoc task force interested in agricultural theft, not explosives detonators. As for Mullner, he appeared downright lame-brained.

If we cannot even rely on our crime kingpins, then who can we trust?

These are our criminals, these are our policemen, and they deserve each other.