Likud candidate Anat Berko: Palestinian state would be like Syria

Anat Berko once interviewed Sheikh Yassein for five hours.

February 9, 2015 18:30
1 minute read.
Anat Berko

Anat Berko. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

If Israel withdraws from the West Bank, it would become analogous to Syria, with terrorist groups like Hamas, Islamic State and al-Nusra Front fighting for control and Jordan collapsing, Dr. Anat Berko told The Jerusalem Post on Monday in her first interview since joining the Likud’s Knesset list.

Berko is an internationally respected authority on terrorism.

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She has interviewed dozens of terrorists behind bars, including a session with the assassinated Hamas founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin that lasted five hours.

She would go from sitting with terrorists to politicians if the Likud wins 23 seats in the March 17 election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose her for a reserved slot on the Likud list.

Berko, 55, had never been a Likud member but she voted for the party, whose leader she met when she interviewed Netanyahu in 2000 for her doctoral dissertation on the moral judgment of the dispatchers of suicide bombers compared to serial killers.

“I believe in the prime minister,” she said. “When we spoke 15 years ago, he gave me his vision of how he saw the Middle East. He said the typhoon of information of the Internet would cause regimes to collapse, because people would no longer accept dictatorships.

He already described then the so-called Arab Spring. He has the vision, not illusion about this area. He has an awareness of history.”

The second of six children, both of Berko’s parents were refugees from Iraq. She served in the army for 25 years, ending her service with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

She directed ground forces in the Southern Command in the IDF’s women’s corps before it disbanded in 2001, and after she earned her doctorate in criminology, she used her skills to administer over a jail.

When asked if she supports a Palestinian state, she said it was too soon to determine if it would be another failed state in the Middle East.

“We need to negotiate with them in good faith and see if there is a solution, which must be regional. Meanwhile, we need to rely on ourselves. We are still in a war of survival.”

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