Netanyahu (L) and Barak
Photo: Yaron Brener

Before it's too late

Op-ed: Former Shin Bet chief's impression of country's top decision-makers should terrify us all

The leftist camp realizes that the next government will apparently be the most rightist-extremist-haredi in Israel's history, and that everything must be done in order to save this country from itself, including rising above egos and honor and ignoring every personal interest or consideration, before it will be too late.


I believe the trigger that caused Livni to announce on Friday that she plans to meet with Lapid and Yachimovich in hopes of forming a united bloc that will work toward overthrowing Netanyahu's regime was the interview published in Yedioth Ahronoth with former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin; an interview that turned the stomachs of all those who read it, regardless of their political affiliation or which party they plan to vote for.


Because the description of Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman smoking cigars in the presence of IDF officers and members of the intelligence community; of the defense minister occasionally pouring himself a glass of whisky while chefs wearing white toques prepare an exquisite meal in the garden of a Mossad villa during a sensitive discussion on Iran – this was more than enough to illustrate what we are dealing with.


These descriptions are enough to explain why Diskin and others like him are so disgusted with the current leadership and why the former Shin Bet chief was so shocked by their conduct.


His need to share with the citizens of Israel on the eve of elections what he witnessed and heard at the most secret forums is understandable. After all, it is during these meetings that the most fateful decisions, which affect all of our lives, are made.


It would be ridiculous to criticize Diskin over the timing of the interview or claim that he has decided to speak up due to his own personal frustration. Even if this is true, it is irrelevant. What matters is the content. If this is really how the most important discussions are conducted, if this is really the face of our decision makers, if all this is true – and we have yet to hear any denials – then it is truly shocking, infuriating and extremely frightening.


For instance, Diskin's sense (and that of many of his colleagues who took part in critical meetings) that the defense minister would sometimes base his decision on whether to launch certain operations on the question of credit – meaning who would get the credit for the operation; or the sense that our leaders do not set a personal example and are driven by personal interests rather than national interests; or Diskin's impression that Netanyahu tends to zigzag, avoids making decisions and is influenced by personal, opportunistic and momentary interests; this is all very disturbing, as is the senior security establishment officials' loss of faith in the country's leadership and in Netanyahu and Barak's ability to make certain that any attack on Iran would yield positive results.


The interview with Diskin is a chilling document that sheds light on what goes on in the most important forums. And this light is nightmarish. Are these the people who decide in which direction the country is heading? Can we trust them to make the right decisions and not make bad ones that are based on personal interests? Is the man who holds a cigar in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other really the man we want as a decision-maker? And will the man who hesitates, avoids making decisions and is influenced by momentary interests going to remain our prime minister?


This interview should provide food for thought for anyone who plans to vote on January 22, and particularly for those who do not plan to vote, because this time around we simply do not have this privilege. Every citizen must know exactly what's at stake before casting the ballot.



פרסום ראשון: 01.06.13, 20:35
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