The first reaction to Yuval Diskin's remark that he has no faith in Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak is the thrill of a scandal: Wow, what harsh words the former Shin Bet security service chief had for the prime minister and the defense minister! If a former Shin Bet head says this, things must be really terrible. Wow!
When the adrenaline level returns to normal, a discussion starts - perhaps with oneself, perhaps with another: What Diskin's doing isn't right. He shouldn't talk like that, it's not loyal, it hurts governance and damages faith in the prime ministerial role. It makes it difficult to believe in leadership at all.
Third round: But what would you prefer? For him not to say anything, if this is what he thinks and knows? For us not to know? Isn't it better for us to know? Isn't it important for us to know? Does Diskin not have a duty to inform the public that their leaders are endangering them?
But if Diskin really thinks this, why didn't he say it when he was in office? In fact, he did say it, but not as loudly and not as creatively. After all, as head of the Shin Bet one cannot speak ill of the government. So why didn't he resign? He must have said to himself that it was better for him to be there, together with then-Mossad head Meir Dagan and then-Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. The moderate axis. That, precisely because this is what he thinks, he must not leave.
And what if Diskin's remarks were politically motivated? Pundits are writing that elections are in the air and that he said what he said to hurt the two leaders at the ballot box. Diskin does not really tell us what he knows and that we don't. He does not tell us what his motivation is. Does he intend to enter politics? Is there someone in the political arena that he wants to help?
But the idea that if something is "political" it is to be decried is a thought that itself should be decried. A position on an attack against Iran is political, and that is a good thing. A position on negotiations with the Palestinians is political, and so it should be. Why, then, should a military hero and former Shin Bet head be afraid of the political?
And so an Israeli goes back and forth in her mind, until she has thought about everything, while, in the meantime, all the ministers slander Diskin, as is their wont, in an exaggerated and scandalous way. It also becomes clear that he holds a grudge against them personally too, and we once again find ourselves in the midst of a battle between little gladiators in the mud.
And still, now what? What am I supposed to do with this now? What exactly does Diskin expect us Israelis to do with the information he has given us? Does he want us to vote for Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz? For Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich? For Meretz? Or should we leave the country while we still can? In fact, he is saying he wants us to pay a price, like those in Cairo's Tahrir Square did. So does he want us to instigate a revolution and bring down Netanyahu and let the army rule instead? Does that mean he's coordinated his position not only with Dagan and Ashkenazi, but with IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz?
Not that I don't believe Diskin. It seems quite clear to me that Netanyahu and Barak, together and individually, feel like the messiah. They might not call themselves by that name, but they feel it. And this, by the way, actually has a direct connection with where they live - isolated, cut off from the public, from "ordinary" people, in elitist homes - and must certainly contribute to the feeling that they are the chosen ones.
But what should we do with this? The sad truth is that there's nothing we can do with it. We are helplessly caught between the fear that Netanyahu is drumming into us, of a holocaust perpetrated against us by Iran, and the fear that Diskin and Dagan are drumming into us, of a holocaust perpetrated against us by Netanyahu.
After this, go and complain that the Israeli public feels nothing and does nothing.
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