Executive Protection in Israel can be divided into two main categories: the first one consists of senior prominent figures (The Prime Minister, Senior Cabinet Members etc) and the second one titled Threatened Cabinet Members and MKs (Members of Knesset). Those occupying the second group are in fact people who aren't entitled to a 24/7 protection but were provided with this privilege by the executive protection unit of the Shin Bet due to security intelligence or other political oriented circumstances.
Alongside the above mentioned division, we also have VIPs', MKs and Cabinet Members enjoying executive protection provided by external companies that won the respective tender. These companies recruit personnel in accordance with the criteria set by the executive protection unit while providing semi-national protection.
It is worth noting that those bodyguards are supposed to go through intensive training, similar to the one associated with Shin Bet's executive protection unit. However, experience shows that their level of qualification is not quite the same and is actually significantly lower.
In my opinion, the decision to allow private companies to provide executive protection for such prominent individuals is in fact wrong because their status should obviously grant them the best protection available. Moreover, they cannot and should not be satisfied with Class B protection.
Class B Protection both in quality and appearance
The bodyguards coming from private companies can be easily detected by their often sloppy appearance as well as inappropriate behavior which do not meet the standards set by the executive protection unit.
Make no mistake about it; the bodyguards coming from the executive protection unit, rather than from private companies are all highly qualified individuals who possess a significant competitive advantage in a wide array of fields: both physical and mental strength, training, equipment and even compatible clothing. Each and every one of them is in fact a remarkable athletic professional equipped with advanced and sophisticated equipment in comparison with the guardsmen coming from private companies that seem to be a mistake for which we will pay dearly.
A level below
One of the examples through which we can easily detect and examine the cardinal differences between the Class A and Class B protection detail is the conferences in which both the detail and the VIP are present. While the security guards from the executive protection unit escort their target anywhere, staying attentive and aware at all times, bodyguards employed in private companies often choose to approach the buffet.
In case you are wondering, there is a reason behind the decision of the executive protection bodyguards to avoid lunch. Such a meal can distract the attention of the executive protection personnel from their active duty and even make them sleepy. Needless to say that a professional security guard must always be attentive and ready to intercept any potential threats within a matter of seconds.
To sum it up, I firmly believe that the Israeli Ministry of Defense has to stop making decisions relying solely on financial considerations. The VIP executive protection must be handled only by the Shin Bet executive protection unit and not some private Class B security guards that seem to fit the necessary profile. There are no private companies, especially not those winning tight budget oriented tenders, able to compete with the standards set by the executive protection unit.