Outgoing Shin Bet chief Diskin warns against politicization

“We and the police are two organizations that walk the fine line between maintaining national security and civil rights,” says Diskin.

April 11, 2011 01:30
2 minute read.

311_Diskin. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


As the government met across the street to approve the appointment of Yoram Cohen to lead the Shin Bet, the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee met Sunday to salute outgoing Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin.

Diskin, who will conclude his six-year-long term in office in mid- May, issued a subtle warning against politicization of the secretive organization, while complimenting those who served under him for treading a difficult line.

“The Shin Bet does not operate just in the Palestinian field, but also deep in the fabric of Israeli society, where it tries to identify threats and respond to them to maintain national security,” he said.

“We and the police are two organizations that walk the fine line between maintaining national security and civil rights,” he added. “It is not easy, and it is important that the political leadership knows to maintain the organization as respectable.”

Amid compliments regarding his tenure, Diskin summed up his six years at the head of the organization, saying “most of the time, I just tried not to interfere.”

Diskin described six years in which terror attacks against Israelis declined significantly.

That decline, said Diskin, was “the glass half-full.”

“The half-empty glass is the fact that just over 160 people were killed and 2,300 were wounded in those years,” he added.

“I am proud that the organization succeeded in reducing suicide bombings, which at the beginning of the decade barely allowed us to maintain normal life.”

Although Diskin took a largely diplomatic stance during the celebratory meeting, committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) drew political lessons from the recent escalation of rocket fire in the South.

“Hamas has strengthened significantly relative to its condition before Operation Cast Lead and certainly relative to afterward,” he said, complaining that Israel’s deterrence had been eroded in the ensuing two years.

“One of Diskin’s greatest achievements was to cause the disappearance in minutes of the biggest murderers that ever rose against us in Gaza and Judea and Samaria,” Mofaz continued.

“In times like these, in the situation that we find ourselves with one million citizens under the threat of rocket fire, the political leadership should adopt the deterrent tool that you were central in developing.

“I recommend that the government take a step up and create deterrence, which can be achieved if decision-makers in Hamas and Islamic Jihad understand that Israel will not reconcile itself to a situation in which every week or two there is a planned escalation,” he added.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron