Jamal Hakhroush, the first Muslim to hold the rank of brigadier general in the Israel Police, on Thursday accused elected Arab officials of harming their constituency.
“They haven’t assisted the minority, but rather widened the credibility crisis by expressing extremist views, which flout the truth and do not advance the interests of the Arab minority”, said Hakhroush, who acts as a liaison with the Arab public and handles Arab recruitment to the police.
In a speech to an international conference of public security officials, Hakroush – the head of a body in charge of improving police service to the Arabs – said that the leaders of Arab society in Israel are an “inflammatory and violent minority.”
“The overwhelming majority of Arab society is comprised of people seeking a good quality of life, personal safety and who unfortunately have to deal with a difficult reality of serious crime,” Hakhroush said. “From a place of pain and frustration, Arab society has placed its confidence in public officials who have chosen an inflammatory, violent path. A silent majority is afraid to speak out.
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“The public was saturated with promises and slogans and is afraid to give us, the police, its confidence and be disappointed again and again,” he continued. “And I tell you, they are right. For years, the Arab citizen has believed the police is his enemy and not his friend. Police have held the belief that every Arab is a potential lawbreaker.”
Hakhroush said that in the past two years, 300 Muslim Arabs have been recruited to police, including 30 women, and that five new police stations will be set up in Arab towns by the end of the year.
He added that “for many years serving in the police has been regarded as tantamount to being a traitor. The change wrought by opening police stations is immediate and leads to less violence and more fruitful dialogue between the police and the public.”
Hakhroush, who lives in Kafr Kana, is Israel's most senior Arab police officer. He has previously served as deputy head of traffic police and deputy Coastal District brigadier general.