Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu) gave one final interview before leaving office on Friday, wherein he reflected on his political career and why he decided to leave political life.
Aharonovich began by addressing his relationship with Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, which was often stormy.
"The reasons are not simple, but complex," he told Walla! News. A very public spat erupted between the two defense officials in October 2014. "There is tension [between us], we couldn't hide that tension."
"I appointed him as Police Commissioner because I thought he would be the best fit, and I do not regret that," he noted, however. "There are things I am disappointed with and I have no need to specify them; I have told him face-to-face."
Aharonovich, in recent years, became a focal point for criticism over what many perceive as an inadequate response to the constant cycle of violence in Jerusalem – prompting much drama around goings-on in the police and the government over how the attacks have been handled.
Frustration with the security establishment in general climaxed last fall, as many major attacks were allegedly played down by the Israel Police and Internal Security Ministry, including the murder of 27-year-old construction worker Netanel Arami and 19-year-old Shelly Dadon.
However, Aharonovich insisted that the flak directed at what many say is his poor handling of events did not lead him to quit politics. Instead, he said, he received hints to leave from Yisrael Beytenu chairman and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Before the elections, he noted, he and Liberman met and "talked like two adults." There, Liberman hinted that a younger generation wanted a chance to serve in the Knesset, ahead of projected polls which saw a dramatic drop in seats for the party.
"I understand hints at my advanced age," Aharonovich said. He thanked Liberman for his time working for the party and chose to resign "in his own way" instead of being booted.
Aharonovich also referenced the massive corruption scandal revealed earlier this year, which involved several senior party members.
"It was hard for me," he said. "I faced a dilemma. Liberman said things against the police. On the one hand I have to defend the police, but on the other hand I had friends who were involved." Aharonovich said that he did back the police's side of the story, but that it put him in a difficult position.
After retiring, he said, he simply plans to spend more time at home.
"First of all, it would be nice to be home for a while with my wife, my daughters, and my grandchildren," he said. "I've been for 33 years in government service [. . .] I missed the experience of my four daughters growing up, and I am still not spending enough time with my ten grandchildren; it's their turn."