The harsh criticism sounded by former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin
against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the issue of Iran on
Friday were only the tip of the iceberg.
During the same speech in the “Majdi Forum” in Kfar Saba, Diskin
blamed Netanyahu, not Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for the
freeze in the peace process.
“Forget the stories they tell you about how Abbas is not interested
in negotiation,” said Diskin, adding, “We are not talking to the
Palestinians because this government has no interest in negotiations."
The former Shin Bet chief added, "I was there up to a year ago and I
know from up-close what is happening. This government is not
interested in solving anything with the Palestinians, and I say this
certainty,” he added.
Diskin pointed the finger at Netanyahu. “This prime minister knows
that if he makes the slightest move forward, then his well-
established rule and his coalition will fall apart."
"It’s simple,” he said, “Thus, no one has any interest in changing
the situation. Abbas made mistakes, but this is beside the point. We
as a people have an interest in this, but not this government. The
problem becomes more difficult with every passing day.”
Diskin’s criticism of Netanyahu over the Palestinian issue is even
more significant than his declarations over the Iranian issue. The
reason for this is that the Shin Bet is the body responsible for the
Palestinian issue on both the political and security-related levels,
whereas the issue of a nuclear Iran falls under the Mossad’s area of
expertise as well as that of Israel Defense Forces´ intelligence unit.
Diskin also warned that a “feeling of hopelessness” was developing
among the Palestinians. He further stated that he was in contact with
senior officials in the Palestinian Authority who tell him about “the
lack of faith that something will change, especially in the West
"In this kind of situation, when the concentration of gas fumes in
the air is so high, the question is only when the spark will come to
light it," he said, adding: "It won´t happen tomorrow morning… but
all the basic elements to allow it are there."
Diskin also referred to last summer´s wave of social protests,
indicated that part of the unrest was prompted by the weakening of
the Israeli government´s control, saying that "control over what is
happening beyond Gedera and Hadera [Israel´s center] is weak" both
in "the Jewish respect and in the Arab one."
According to the former Shin Bet chief, the protest was prompted by
real and just reasons, adding, however that those who led it weren´t
ready to pay a personal price in order to achieve their goals."
"What´s the difference between the, quote-unquote, revolutionists in
Rothschild Boulevard and those in Tahrir Square?" he asked, answering
that there was a "small, but significant difference – the people in
Tahrir Square were willing to pay the price, and the people in
Rothschild Boulevard didn´t really."
Diskin added that as "soon as the festival season was over and all
the singers were done, as soon as the people were done taking a dump
in the backyards of their neighbors in Rothschild, the summer was
over and they went back to university."
"In Tahrir Square people paid a price for their principles. If that
doesn´t happen here, all this social justice thing will be another
summer festival in Israel. I think that the people who led it, most
of them, aren´t really willing to pay a price for it," he said.
In a previously published portion of his Friday comments, Diskin said
that he had "no faith in the current leadership, which would lead us
in the event of war with Iran, or a regional war."
"I don´t believe in either the prime minister or the defense
minister. I don´t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based
on messianic feelings," he added.