Police Not the Solution to the Attacks on Women, Says Danino

'Phenomenon of women's exclusion is mainly a social trend, so the police cannot provide the whole solution,' Police Commissioner tells Knesset.

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said Monday that the police have been acting for some time now to arrest both the perpetrators who attack Palestinians and those who exclude women from public venues, but since such acts are a "social trend," the police cannot be seen as the only solution to the problems.

"We have acted and will continue to fight resolutely to arrest and indict more of them carrying out both 'price tag' attacks and discriminating against women. But the phenomenon of women's exclusion is mainly a social trend, so the police cannot provide the whole solution," Danino said at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Yohanan Danino - Michal Fattal - 27122011
Michal Fattal

Police top brass are angry at Knesset members and ministers who are demanding the police solve the problem of ultra-Orthodox exclusion of women, instead of dealing themselves with the situation that was ignored by all the governments that knew of the phenomenon and chose not to act against it.

A senior officer said the police today stand facing the problem alone. "The police officers should not remove signs [barring women's access] and detectives shouldn't escort children to school, that's not the job of the police," one officer said.

Officers said they know the entire police force will have to deal with manifestations of women's exclusion from the public sphere in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, just as the entire police force was mobilized to deal with the rightist extremists' acts against Palestinians and IDF soldiers.

Danino has no intention of letting the police become the politicians' punching bag, an officer said, explaining the cabinet is trying to push the police into dealing with the ultra-Orthodox public.

MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima ) said at the meeting "it's time the police stop being nice and gentle in the face of the crimes taking place in the streets. It's time the police start cracking down on those who objected to taking down the sign in Beit Shemesh."