Yuval Diskin: West Bank Evacuations Could Lead to Another Political Assassination

Referring to remarks by Knesset Speaker Rivlin, who warned of left- and right-wing extremism, Former Shin Bet chief head says rightists are much more violent.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Right-wing extremism is Israel much more violent than that originating in the political left, former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin was recorded as saying on Friday, adding that an attempt to evacuate West Bank settlements could result in an event similar to the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Earlier Saturday, remarks made by the former security official were made public, according to which he had "no faith" in the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Yuval Diskin, Jan. 18, 2011.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Diskin was severely criticized by ministers from Netanyahu's Likud party, with Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon saying that the former Shin Bet's "failure of judgment caused [Gilad] Shalit to rot years in captivity and Israel to pay a dear price."

"He who doesn't know what council to give on prisoners shouldn't boast of his ability to give the people of Israel council on an existential threat such as the Iranian nuclear program," Simhon added.

Later Saturday, more remarks made by Diskin during a Friday meet were released. Included in those remarks was an assertion that Israel's right-wing extremists are more violent than those from the left-wing – a warning against the possibility of a violent outbreak that could ensue following an attempt to evacuate West Bank settlements.

"The Rabin assassination can repeat itself. There are extremist Jews within the Green Line as well, not only in the territories. It's an optical illusion that they're all in the territories," Diskin said.

The former top security official said that these extremists arrive "in settlement evacuation situations," adding that evacuations in the West Bank would be "much more difficult" than in Gaza.

"There are dozens willing to use firearms against their Jewish brothers in such a situation," Diskin said.

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The former Shin Bet chief referred to comments made by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on the eve of Independence Day, warning against extremism from both sides of the political map.

Speaking of Rivlin's comments, Diskin said that, while there's fanaticism on the right and on the left, there are clear differences between the two.

"The difference is simply that, usually, the right-wing fanaticism is much more violent than that of the left-wing. It's a fact. In the vast majority of cases it’s a very prominent difference. And I'm not talking about which is more harmful; they're both harmful, whether from the right or left," he said.

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Diskin told of meetings he had with rabbis who would condemn extremism in person, but never went out to speak against the phenomenon in public.

"There was one rabbi who dared to say things about this, and paid a price. That's [former Yesha Council head] Pinchas Wallerstein. I admire him because his mouth and his heart are the same. He said it very clearly. He denounced the hilltop youth fanaticism and paid a dear political price," Diskin said, adding, "Unfortunately, he was a lone voice in the wilderness in that respect."



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