Diskin: Netanyahu unreliable, 'possessed' by Iran

Former Shin Bet chief levels sharp criticism over the decision-making process at the highest echelons of Israeli government.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 4, 2013 19:49
2 minute read.
Yuval Diskin

Yuval Diskin. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
X

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 analyses 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 uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Yuval Diskin, the former chief of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Friday leveled sharp criticism against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak over their decision-making process.

In an interview published in Yedioth Ahronoth, Diskin, who served as Shin Bet chief from 2005-2011, cited alcohol consumption, cigar smoking and the fact that Netanyahu is "possessed" by Iran as reasons to oppose his premiership.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"Netanyahu is scared, fickle and shirking responsibility," Diskin told Yediot. "There is a crisis of leadership here, a crisis of values and total contempt for the public. Maybe people will think I'm exaggerating, but I’m telling you: From close up it looks even worse."

Diskin based his criticism on "an important discussion about Iran," in which Netanyahu, Barak and former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman allegedly were "sitting and smoking cigars in front of everyone."

According to Diskin, "The defense minister [Barak] gets up and walks over to a corner and pours himself a little drink from time to time. In the middle of such a sensitive, confidential meeting, he is standing with a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other, in front of the IDF's officers and intelligence officials."

"When I look at Netanyahu and Barak," Diskin continued, "I don't see an iota of leadership qualities in either of them. [Former prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin, [President Shimon] Peres, [former prime minister Ariel] Sharon and [former prime minister Ehud] Olmert knew how to put the national interest before everything else. I didn't feel this way with Netanyahu or Barak. I don't think others did either. "

According to the former Shin Bet head, Netanyahu's attitude towards Iran is tainted by his determination to secure his place in the pages of history.



"I have a very deep feeling that when it comes to Iran," Diskin told Yediot.

"Netanyahu is possessed by Menachem Begin, who attacked Iraq's nuclear reactor, and by Olmert, who many claim is responsible for the attack on Syria's reactor.

"Bibi [Netanyahu] wants to go down in history as the person who did something on this size and scale. I have heard him belittle what his predecessors have done and assert that his mission on Iran is on a much grander scale."

Following the interview, the Prime Minister's Office slammed Diskin's statements as "ridiculous...recycled for political purposes." They attributed his statements as stemming from his "own frustration about not being named head of the Mossad."

Diskin was interviewed by documentary filmmaker Dror Moreh, whose film “The Gatekeepers” consists of extensive and rare interviews with the six surviving former heads of the Shin Bet (the General Security Services) in Israel, including Diskin.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN