Analysis: Why did Diskin speak out now?

As the rumblings of general elections grow louder, some say Diskin was preparing his own entrance to the political arena.

April 30, 2012 01:43
1 minute read.
Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin at HLS int'l conference

Yuval Diskin 311. (photo credit: Sivan Faraj )

It was an unlikely setting for Yuval Diskin to break his silence.

A small forum called Majdi, named after a Kfar Saba restaurant where it meets regularly, gathered to hear the ex-Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) director as he unleashed stinging attack after stinging attack on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, challenging their very legitimacy as national leaders and their ability to steer the country through the turbulent waters of 2012, and the tinderbox issue of Iran’s nuclear program.

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Within a short time, someone who had filmed the event posted a video of Diskin making the comments on YouTube. Soon afterwards, they became the headlines in all news sites, a result that Diskin has surely envisaged and planned for.

Diskin left little room for question about his views on the people he had worked under for half a decade, but he did leave open the question of the timing of his remarks. Why now? There is of course the “official” explanation, that the timing was preselected by Diskin as being the optimal period for speaking up.

Yet for the targets of Diskin’s attacks, and those who viewed them as base and inappropriate, an entirely different explanation was easy to find. As the rumblings of general elections grow louder, they said, Diskin was preparing his own entrance to the political arena.

Similar “charges” were leveled at Meir Dagan last year, after the former Mossad chief broke his own silence and lambasted the idea of an Israeli strike on Iran at this time.

A third explanation is also possible, though it is not apparent to the public eye. It is certainly possible that Diskin is aware of unknown factors that prompted him to unleash his fire at Netanyahu and Barak on Saturday.

Only time might shed more light on the timing of Diskin’s intervention.

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