This article was written by Colonel (Ret.) Beni Tal – Founder and Owner of BTS Security
Just recently, we have all witnessed a heated debate over whether the personal and executive security services provided to Members of the Israeli Knesset, as well as to Cabinet ranked ministers should be halted. I believe that such a crucial decision might lead to the next political assassination.
The issue has risen up to public debate mainly due to the fact that the security services provided for public servants mainly from the SHIN BET's executive protection department are in fact a heavy financial burden. In other words, the debate is purely a financial one and not a fundamental one because everybody knows and understands that security is of the essence.
We should not underestimate the fact that Members of the Israeli Knesset are in fact a source of meaningful intelligence that can be extracted from them. We live in an era during which the threats against Israeli Cabinet Members and MK's become more and more common. Terrorist groups from Gaza and Lebanon wish to harm Israeli decision makers and the targeted killings authorized by them serve as yet another incentive to harm them. Therefore, they cannot be left without security guards looking after them.
Rehavam Zeevi (Ghandi), the Israeli Minister of Tourism at the time, was murdered more than a decade ago and this incident might repeat itself. Ghandi had security guards but he chose to hang out by himself – to be free. The people working at the hotel he stayed in during that morning, knew his schedule and they passed on this information to terrorists who killed him. Minister Zeevi was assassinated in the hall of the hotel since he had no security by his side. Is the State of Israel wishes to wake up only after the next murder?
Israeli MK's and Cabinet Members execute their job faithfully; they serve as our representatives and therefore should be protected by the state. In a time when Israel has to fight on multiple fronts, our public servants are a part of this war.
They represent the State of Israel and the government and as you can obviously reduce the number of security guards protecting the IDF's Chief of Staff or the Prime Minister – you cannot do it to the MK's or Cabinet Members as well leaving them exposed and unprotected.