Israel Police Chief Says Netanyahu Promised to Pick Him to Lead Shin Bet After Police

Israel Police Commissioner Alsheich reportedly admitted in private conversation that prime minister said he could take over security service if he accepts police job first.

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Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich shaking hands with Netanyahu, December 3, 2015.
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich shaking hands with Netanyahu, December 3, 2015.Credit: Haim Zach, GOP

Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich has said privately that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to name him the next Shin Bet security service chief if he, Netanyahu, is still prime minister when Alsheich finishes his term, Channel 10 reported Monday night.

The report quoted a close associate of Alsheich’s who said Netanyahu had suggested this in a conversation in which he tried to persuade Alsheich, who was deputy Shin Bet head at the time, to take the job as police chief.

The associate said that as opposed to previous conversations, in which Alsheich was reluctant to accept the police position, the conversation in which the promise was made helped Alsheich decide. If true, it means the police commissioner seemingly has an interest in having Netanyahu remain prime minister.

The nature of the relationship between Alsheich and Netanyahu was questioned last week as well, when the announcement that the police investigation into alleged criminal violations in the prime minister’s official residence was completed and the material was being handed over to the prosecution failed to mention that the police believed there was enough evidence to prosecute those involved, including Sara Netanyahu.

Alsheich responded: “The police commissioner was subject to heavy pressure and attempts at persuasion from various channels to accept the job. With the agreement to accept the position, the commissioner made it clear to both the public security minister and the prime minister, to remove all possible doubt, that accepting the job came from an internal, ethical place.

“The only commitment that remains as a condition is the promise of proper budget backing for the objectives at hand,” he continued. “If anyone sees himself as committed to any suggestion, whether made with authority or not, the commissioner releases him from any commitment. The commissioner is focused on his mission. This is not an interim or transitional position.”

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