Police chief warns of potential for political violence amid inflammatory climate, pleads: ‘Lower the flames’

Police chief Kobi Shabtai attends a police ceremony in Beit Shemesh, November 7, 2022. (Flash90)
Police chief Kobi Shabtai attends a police ceremony in Beit Shemesh, November 7, 2022. (Flash90)

In an interview with Channel 12 news, police chief Kobi Shabtai warns against possible political violence.

“I came here [to the studio] for a reason. I’ve tried to refrain from these kinds of interviews. But the situation we’re in [in Israel] keeps me awake at night. We’re on a steep slope, of inflammatory argument, of people writing things without considering the impact they can have on the other side,” Shabtai says.

“This is the opportunity to urge everyone to take a breath, to calm down, to discuss, and not to become violent in words or deeds… The State of Israel has already seen harm done to public figures,” he says.

“We saw a hand grenade thrown [with fatal consequences at a demonstration 40 years ago, killing Emil Grunzweig]. We saw the assassination of a prime minister,” Shabtai says, referring to the 1995 assassination of then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

“We see these threats on social media,” he says.

“The incitement today…. is worrying, worrying. We have to lower the flames… All the security agencies… are doing our best to prevent a repetition,” Shabtai adds.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.