MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) accused the police of singling out haredi people for extra scrutiny during a meeting of the Constitution Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset regarding the proposed “security of the public” law.
“This is a dangerous precedent to set,” said Maklev. “It is a precedent that will allow police to stop and search any person, regardless of whether that person was acting suspiciously or not. This is not something which we have until now. This proposal stems from the arrogance of the police who are drunk with power, and severely harms the rights of the public. It is important to tell the police that they cannot do whatever they want to citizens.”
Maklev said that a line needs to be drawn between significant security threats and day-to-day operations of the police. “With regards to significant security threats, we understand the situation and support the expansion of police authority. However with regard to regular policing situations we adamantly disagree with the proposal. The majority of the population has the right to be presumed innocent, even if they are present in locations in which disturbances, protests or even arrests are occurring. If police can search any person without reason, it will prevent innocent individuals from going to such places or protests, and there is no justification for that. Even now the police go beyond their authoritative powers on many occasions, and arrest people needlessly and often falsely accuse people by using false testimonies.”
He added that there is a wide gap between what the police presented to the committee regarding their methods and procedures and what happens out in the field when the police apply collective punishment against innocent people, especially when they arrest innocent bystanders just to provide a general feel of deterrence. “The police must stop false arrests and trumped up charges due to the color of the clothes that a person wears, or what segment of society they belong to. It is a serious worry of every citizen when they come into contact with a police officer, that the officer will arrest them for a trumped up charge under the guise of “interfering with the officer in performing his duties,” and then will add on another charge of “assaulting an officer”.
"Sadly these situations of being arrested without reason are far more likely to occur to Haredim, Ethiopians and Arabs than anyone else."