Israeli political leaders on Saturday slammed former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin for public attacks he made Friday against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Friday night, Diskin sharply criticized Israel's top leadership at the
Majdi Forum in Kfar Saba, saying they "present a false view to the
public on the Iranian bomb, as though acting against Iran would prevent a
nuclear bomb. But attacking Iran will encourage them to develop a bomb
all the faster."
Referring to the leaders as "our two messiahs," a
likely reference to Netanyahu and Barak, Diskin said "they are not fit
to hold the steering-wheel of power. I have no faith in the current
leadership in Israel and its ability to conduct a war."
Likud MK Carmel
Shama-Hacohen implied that Diskin's comments were political, as they
were conveniently made in an election year. "If these are really his
opinions about the prime minister and defense minister, we would expect
the Shin Bet chief to state them - and to act upon them - in real time,
and not to wait for an election year."
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz stated that Diskin's comments were "crude
and inappropriate," adding that "if these are his opinions, he should
have stated them in the appropriate forums while he was in office."
Premier Silvan Shalom stated that Diskin should not have spoken out
about the Iranian threat in public. "I think that Diskin was wrong to
say what he did, and that when he considers what he said he will realize
that he was wrong," Shalom said.
Culture and Sports Minister
Limor Livnat called Diskin's comments "inappropriate," adding that they
could damage the country's standing.
From the Left, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich referred to Diskin as a "serious man" whose remarks caused disquiet. In an interview with Army Radio, Yacimovich said that Iran is not Israel's problem, but the whole world's problem, and the Israel must cooperate with the US and Europe on the issue. While she said that the military option should also be on the table, the Labor leader said that it should be the very last option,
Neither Barak nor Netanyahu have commented on Diskin's attack.