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Former Shin Bet Chief, Diskin Loses Confidence In Netanyahu, Barak Leadership – OpEd

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Former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin told an Israeli audience that he had no confidence in the leadership of Bibi Netanyahu or Ehud Barak:

“My major problem is that I have no faith in the current leadership, which must lead us into an event on the scale of war with Iran or regional war,” Diskin told the “Majdi Forum,” a group of local residents that meets to discuss political issues.

“I don’t believe in either the prime minister or the defense minister. I don’t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings,” he added.

Diskin deemed Barak and Netanyahu “two messianics – the one from Akirov…and the other from…Caesarea,” he said, referring to the residences of the two politicians.

“Believe me, I have observed them from up close… They are not people who I, on a personal level, trust to lead Israel to an event on that scale and carry it off. These are not people that I would want to have holding the wheel in such an event,” Diskin said.

“They are misleading the public on the Iran issue. They tell the public that if Israel acts, Iran won’t have a nuclear bomb. This is misleading. Actually, many experts say that an Israeli attack would accelerate the Iranian nuclear race,” said the former security chief.

Considering that this was the fellow who ran Israel’s domestic security services during the entire reign of the current government, I’d say his dismissal of Netanyahu’s judgment and leadership is, or should be, a lightning bolt for Israelis.  What’s more, Meir Dagan, the former Mossad chief has already voiced almost precisely the same views.  Until now, Diskin had maintained a discreet public silence on the issues though it was common knowledge that he joined Dagan in opposing an Iran attack.  This latest salvo will (hopefully) open the floodgates of criticism even farther.

Also, considering that neither the prime minister or defense minister are religious, attributing messianic motives to both should also be a warning. What is any leader, let alone one who doesn’t profess religious beliefs, doing falling back on such wild-eyed notions to govern national policy? Why does any leader believe his actions will save not just Israel, but the entire Jewish people?

These are the thoughts of megalomaniacs, not national leaders. And if they are national leaders they will lead to national catastrophe, rather than national salvation.

This article appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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