Israel seeks to recruit Arab Muslims for police force

Aisha Dahleh, a social worker, responded to the recruitment drive aimed at Arab Muslims.
Aisha Dahleh, a social worker, responded to the recruitment drive aimed at Arab Muslims.

The roll call was startling for a class preparing to take Israel’s police academy exam: Mohammad Hreib, Ghadeer Ghadeer, Munis Huwari and Arafat Hassanein, dressed like a hipster and named after the Palestinian leader, whom most Israeli Jews view as a terrorist.

The unusual roster is the result of an Israeli push to recruit into its police force Arab Muslims, who are both vastly underrepresented in its ranks and vastly overrepresented among criminal suspects and victims.

1.5% representation

Arab Muslims are 1.5 per cent of the 30,000-member national police force, and the Public Security Minister seeks to increase that number in three years by adding 1,350 new ones. Many would work in Arab cities and towns, where the ministry has promised to open 12 new police stations. (There are seven in such areas now, out of 70 across Israel.)

The deep-rooted tension between Israel’s police officers and its 1.7 million Arab citizens — about a fifth of the population — in some ways mirrors the flaring problems over race and policing in the United States.

Alongside the recruitment drive, the Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, promoted a rare long-serving Muslim officer to deputy commissioner, the second-highest rank on the force, holding him up as an example of how high an Arab could ascend in the force.

Many Palestinian citizens said they felt that Mr. Erdan was pressing forward with the recruitment of Arab officers because the violence that was wreaking havoc in their communities had begun to affect the wider Jewish society.

Building trust

Building trust is Mr. Erdan’s challenge. Many Arab citizens identify primarily as Palestinian, not Israeli, and see the conservative government, especially its security forces, as hostile to their interests. They are suspicious of a broader government programme to invest $3.8 billion in infrastructure, education, housing and other services in Arab communities — an effort to better integrate the residents, who suffer more poverty and unemployment, into society.

“More police isn’t the solution. Changing the mentality of the police is,” said Ayman Odeh, who leads a bloc of Arab lawmakers in Israel’s Parliament.

Since the recruitment initiative was announced in April, about 700 Arabs have applied to the police force. Jamal Hakroush (59), the newly promoted deputy commissioner, said about 200 were expected to make it.

 New York Times



9 responses to “Israel seeks to recruit Arab Muslims for police force”

  1. “Social worker Aisha Dahleh” on the YaLibnan picture has a pissed-off look. I wonder what the reason might be. In the original NYT article, on the other hand, she looks rather happy. 🙂
    In any case, she is quite fetching, even with the hideous headscarf.

    1. Now you see her happy, but do YOU trust them?
      I heard about israeli arabs that have joint the IS.

      Have experience with our own (Sven Lau) that converts to Islam and become a Salafist preacher, and he comes from a Catholic family….

      After military service Lau was employed from 2003 to 2008 as a fireman in Mönchengladbach and was trained there to a fire chief in the central service.
      Lau is remarried and has five children.

      You have seen him earlier with the Islamic extremists who patrolled the streets of Wuppertal in orange vests, bearing the words “Sharia police”.
      Salafist Sven Lau (Abu Adam), whose trial started on Tuesday, is hardly Germany’s first extremist facing a conviction.

      I don’t trust any muslim that oppose our Constitution.

      1. “I heard about israeli arabs that have joint the IS.”

        ISIS is supported by Israel so it should not be a problem.

      2. I certainly wouldn’t blindly trust someone who was named “Arafat” after the dead AIDS-ridden sack of shit.

    2. Where do you see “she looks rather happy”? It’s a normal face.

      1. You don’t think she is? I am quite attracted to her. Imagine her in a police uniform… Mmmmm, delectable. 🙂

  2. win-win. good luck to them.

  3. The woman in the picture looks like a super-hero or maybe part of the Islamic X-men. Got to love the cape.

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