Kadima MK Avi Dichter on Sunday responded to former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin's criticism of the country's leadership, saying that while he had a right and duty to participate in the public discourse on Israel's security situation, his personal attacks against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak could serve to "damage the institution of Shin Bet chief."

Dichter, a former Shin Bet chief himself, told Army Radio that Diskin erred in referring to Barak and Netanyahu as two people who see themselves as "messiahs." He said that such personal impressions of the country's top leaders could only come from someone who was an "intimate partner" to the defense minister and prime minister. As someone in a position that is "directly responsible for the personal security of the prime minister," the Shin Bet chief must know how to keep certain things "in the room.". Dichter said that Diskin's indiscretions could alter the relationship between future Shin Bet chiefs and prime ministers, a relationship that demands trust.

Dichter added that Diskin served five years as part of his term, plus a sixth year at the prime minister's request, and if he had concerns about Netanyahu and Barak's leadership against the Iranian threat, he could have voiced it while still in office. He added that the IDF, the Mossad and Military Intelligence are primarily those charged with handling the Iranian threat rather than the Shin Bet, who deals with internal security.

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