National Guard under Minister of National Security - Crossing a Red Line
On March 28, 2023, we contacted the Attorney General following the agreement reached between the Minister of National Security and the Prime Minister regarding the establishment of a National Guard under the Minister of National Security. Although many details remain unclear regarding the composition, authority, and structure of the force to be established, the very intention of establishing an armed force separate from the police that would be subordinate to the Minister of National Security, indicates a red line that is fundamentally unacceptable.
In the appeal, ACRI Attorney Anne Suciu claims that the subordination of police to a political entity undermines the foundations of the structure of Israeli democracy, and poses a genuine threat to human rights. As the entity responsible for law enforcement with a monopoly on use of force against citizens, the police must operate in an entirely neutral and professional manner, independent of political considerations or biases.
Furthermore, per Minister Ben Gvir’s statements, the National Guard is primarily expected to engage with Arab society, which will create two policing systems in the country: a blue police force for Jewish citizens and a National Guard of a military nature for Arab citizens. This step indicates profiling and discriminatory relations toward Arab society, and is expected to escalate matters and result in further deterioration of the Arab public’s trust in the police.
We also claimed that volunteers – however talented they may be – should not be permitted to partake in policing activities characterized by use of considerable force and violent friction, with significant potential for human rights violations. Such activity should solely be carried out by a trained police force authorized to carry out such ongoing work.