Right-wing activist Benzi Gopstein, who was disqualified from running for the Knesset by the High Court of Justice and is on trial for incitement to racism and terrorism, advises National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Police Commissioner Rabbi Kobi Shabtai with eyes touching the police, Haaretz reported.
According to Haaretz, the chairman of Lehava is involved in decisions concerning the police leadership, to the point of appointing extras. Gopstein also attended several closed meetings held in Ben-Gvir's office at the Ministry of National Security. The right-wing activist was involved in the minister's decision to reprimand Border Police Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Cohen, who backed the Border Police forces securing the evacuation of a vineyard in Judea and Samaria.
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, Photo: Gideon Markowitz
In addition, the chairman of Lehava advised Ben-Gvir to demand that the police launch a large-scale operation in East Jerusalem, following the attack in the city in February. That evening, Ben-Gvir announced that he had instructed the police to prepare for an operation "to deal with the nests of terror in East Jerusalem," which he called "Defensive Shield 2." The directive was given contrary to the position of political and police officials.
"Gopstein advises and has involvement in many decisions related to the police leadership and its conduct," says a security source. "Gopstein, Hanmal Dorfman and Ayala Ben-Gvir are the people closest to the minister and have influence over him." The security source added that Gopstein "knows what is happening at the top of the police and is very involved, including with the police. It's a crazy event that this is the man advising the minister of national security."
In response to Haaretz's inquiry, Gopstein said he did not comment on the newspaper's inquiries. The office of the minister of national security said it would file a libel suit "for every lie written."
Wrong? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us