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Monday, January 30, 2006

Guest Blog from JoeSettler

As JerusalemCop’s latest guest blogger, I decided to write a meaningless blog that points out some observations that are somehow connected to JerusalemCop.

There is no doubt that one of the most unusual things I’ve noticed about Israel is not just the number of cops, but how many people actually view police service as a conventional or even desirable profession.

In America, I personally knew exactly one Jewish cop (and one Jewish FBI agent), though there are actually plenty of Jewish cops (such as the members of the Shomrim Society).

Here in Israel, wherever you turn, a not insignificant number of your neighbors either are or used to be cops (and I’m not talking about volunteer cops – even I did that for a little while), yet, I didn’t know a single cop that used to live in my neighborhood in the U.S. (though I somehow knew of plenty of people connected to the other side of the street).

True, in Israel, many people become policemen by default after having finished the army. They have no clue what to do with their lives and the police accept them cheerfully.

But others simply consider it a respectable job, which offers a decent pension, low retirement age, and other perks.

Yet how many Jewish mothers in America would kvell that their son is a cop. Here in Israel, people love to have cops as neighbors or in the family – I was told it’s a protektzia thing.

When JerusalemCop decided to give a shot at being an officer, I remember his American family was up in arms, and when he quit, they were quite relieved. Yet all his Israeli friends and family thought it was such a great idea.

I’ve given it some thought as to why.

I suspect that being a cop is one of the few government jobs that garners any respect even at the lowest entry level. Many Israelis simply see it simply as an extension of army service. The completely blurred line between serving in Mishmar Hagvul as your army service within the administration of the Police helps to even further that lack of distinction.

Israelis like it when the government takes care of them. For Israelis, their leaders are (replacement) father figures and Israelis like their father figures strong (Rabin, Sharon, Lenin).

So what could be more fulfilling to that image of a strong governmental father figure (but a position still attainable by the masses), than a Jewish cop?

Perhaps a JerusalemCop?

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– braham Lincoln


At 10:18 AM, January 30, 2006, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

Thanks for posting Joe.

Nice topic.

didn't know about the shomrim Society.


At 10:43 AM, January 30, 2006, Blogger Elliott Cahan said...

Great post. Although JCOP is certainly a respectable figure and would command my respect if I saw him in blue, the police themselves do not view their profession as one that is respected here in Israel. I recently wrote a letter to the editor in the JPOST about how under funded the police budget is as they are trying to fight both the war on terror and crime at the same time. Even in the U.S. the police force was a place where new immigrants could find a home. That might be why you know so many here.

At 11:38 AM, January 30, 2006, Blogger Joe Settler said...

I think it may also have to do with something else.

I also know more Jewish plumbers, electricians, and construction workers(!) in Israel.

Interestingly, I know more Jewish street cleaners in the US. (Really)

In a Jewish State, Jews take jobs they wouldn't take otherwise.

But that still doesn't account for the seemingly large number of cops in Israel.

At 4:07 PM, January 30, 2006, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

So what could be more fulfilling to that image of a strong governmental father figure (but a position still attainable by the masses), than a Jewish cop?

Perhaps a JerusalemCop?

The most fulfilling would be a Cop who quits the Israeli force because his conscience doesn't let him evict Jews from their homes in Eretz Yisrael.

Now that's a hero worth saluting.

At 6:29 PM, January 30, 2006, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

That was an interesting post. I hadn't really thought about it before, but you are correct most American Jews I know are not real fond of law enforcement as a profession.


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