Uzi Arad, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser
and a 25-year veteran of the Mossad, is among those Israelis obviously pleased
that The Gatekeepers did not win an Academy Award last month.
other democracy in the world would six heads of the security services line up,
lend themselves to be quoted and blame their government,” Arad said of the
documentary, which features six former directors of the Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) in a film highly critical of Israel’s policies in the
In an interview on the sidelines of the Herzliya Conference,
which opened on Monday, Arad said he could not imagine six former heads of the
FBI or MI5 lining up to bash their countries’ policies.
“This is hefkerut
[anarchy],” he said, “a lack of respect. It shows a lack of
professionalism. The head of the secret service has to know to keep his
mouth shut, both during and after his service. If he cannot, he is no
professional and has betrayed his profession.”
Arad added that the
“prevailing feeling” the documentary left within the ranks of Israel’s
intelligence community was “one of betrayal and contempt.”
willingness of the six – Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin, Carmi Gillon,
Yaakov Peri and Avraham Shalom – to take part in the documentary “shows a very
low sensitivity to democratic norms,” Arad said, rejecting the idea that the men
felt it was imperative for them to go public with their criticism.
asked how they would have reacted had their deputies gone on film with a litany
of complaints against them.
“Of course they would have objected,” he
said. “In fact, they would have taken disciplinary action. So why did they take
the liberty?” Arad – placing the documentary in the same category with the
Harpaz Affair, which has entangled Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former chief
of general staff Gabi Ashkenazi – said this type of behavior happens when
“society loses its restraint and its norms, when it loses adherence to
principles and to what the British call ‘things that are just not done.’” The
full interview with Arad will appear in Friday’s Post.