Yuval Diskin - Tomer Appelbaum - 18.1.2011
Yuval Diskin, Jan. 18, 2011. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said Monday that conditions were ripe for a "Palestinian" Arab Spring, amid rising dissatisfaction in the West Bank.

“In the West Bank, immense tension and frustration among Palestinians is escalating, as they feel their land is being stolen from them," Diskin told a Finance Ministry conference, in remarks carried by Army Radio. "They are realizing that the state they aspire to achieve is growing more distant and understand that the economy is no longer something that they can take comfort in.”

Diskin also said he does not believe the Israeli public is ready to reach a deal with the Palestinians. "It's clear that, considering the current political map, there is no chance the Israeli public will accept a peace agreement."

Diskin also noted that Egypt and Jordan must take part in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. "Egypt and Jordan should be involved in early stages, as it will give Abu Mazen legitimacy to make decisions. "

One of the six former Shin Bet heads who appears in the Oscar-nominated Israeli documentary Gatekeepers, Diskin has come out sharply against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the past.

Diskin paints a picture of recklessness in the government's highly sensitive security discussions. Among other things, Diskin, who served as Shin Bet chief from 2005 - 2011, enumerates alcohol consumption, cigar smoking and the fact that Netanyahu is "possessed" by Iran.

"Netanyahu is scared, fickle and shirking responsibility," Diskin says in that interview. "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."