Name That Pinko!

by Kevin Jon Heller

What Israel-hating, Hamas-loving lefty said the following on Facebook?

Dear friends: Take a few moments to read the following words and share them with others. I see the severe and rapid deterioration of the security situation in the territories, Jerusalem and the Triangle and I’m not surprised. Don’t be confused for a moment. This is the result of the policy conducted by the current government, whose essence is: Let’s frighten the public over everything that’s happening around us in the Middle East, let’s prove that there’s no Palestinian partner, let’s build more and more settlements and create a reality that can’t be changed, let’s continue not dealing with the severe problems of the Arab sector in Israel, let’s continue not solving the severe social gaps in Israeli society. This illusion worked wonderfully as long as the security establishment was able to provide impressive calm on the security front over the last few years as a result of the high-quality, dedicated work of the people of the Shin Bet, the IDF and the Israel Police as well as the Palestinians whose significant contribution to the relative calm in the West Bank should not be taken lightly.

However, the rapid deterioration we’re experiencing in the security situation did not come because of the vile murder of Naftali, Eyal and Gil-Ad, may their memories be blessed. The deterioration is first and foremost a result of the illusion that the government’s inaction on every front can actually freeze the situation in place, the illusion that “price tag” is simply a few slogans on the wall and not pure racism, the illusion that everything can be solved with a little more force, the illusion that the Palestinians will accept everything that’s done in the West Bank and won’t respond despite the rage and frustration and the worsening economic situation, the illusion that the international community won’t impose sanctions on us, that the Arab citizens of Israel won’t take to the streets at the end of the day because of the lack of care for their problems, and that the Israeli public will continue submissively to accept the government’s helplessness in dealing with the social gaps that its policies have created and are worsening, while corruption continues to poison everything good, and so on and so on.

But anyone who thinks the situation can tread water over the long run is making a mistake, and a big one. What’s been happening in the last few days can get much worse — even if things calm down momentarily. Don’t be fooled for a moment, because the enormous internal pressure will still be there, the combustible fumes in the air won’t diminish and if we don’t learn to lessen them the situation will get much worse.

The pinko in question would be Yuval Diskin, the director of Israel’s Shin Bet from 2005 to 2011. Further proof that being outside of government is conducive to honesty — especially when the government in question is overseen by someone like Netanyahu.

http://opiniojuris.org/2014/07/09/name-pinko/

6 Responses

  1. Diskin is known to actually be quite left-wing. In Israel there are lots of generals and security officials. Some are left wing, some are right. The anti-government statements of the left wing ones obviously get more attention.

    More importantly, Diskin is widely understood to be preparing his entry into the political arena, presumably high on the Labor list, or on some other left-of-center list, and has thus been making such statements with increasing frequency.

  2. Given the toxic political environment in Israel, Diskin’s willingness to say such unpopular things means he should be taken all that much more seriously.

    As for his politics, all I know is that he was the head of Israel’s security service for six years. Perhaps he was left-wing during his tenure, though I highly doubt it. More likely, his experiences as the head of Shin Bet pushed him leftward — in the vein of Robert McNamara. “The Gatekeepers” seems to imply as much.

  3. Eugene Kontorovich’s comment recalled to my mind Ezra Pound when he wrote that you can detect a bad/biased literary critic when he/she starts to focus on the poet and not the poem.

  4. All Shin Bet and Mossad chiefs seem to become peaceniks after leaving the office – not before. People are tortured & killed on their watch, and Shin Bet’s ways of repressing the occupied territories are well documented.

    More rah rah rah from another Israeli security ex-chief. Yawn.

  5. Carl, if Prof Heller’s argument is much based on the position Diskin held, it is certainly apt to refer to the person as opposed to the opinion.
    Prof Heller, why should one highly doubt that Diskin was left wing when he held the position? Plenty of individuals holding left wing views hold senior positions in Israeli government and army. Moshe Ya’alon was quite left wing when he was chief of staff, but subsequently moved to the right…

  6. ״let’s continue not solving the severe social gaps in Israeli society.” It sure looks like the GSS is the perfect place to turn every tea-party patriot into a yellow dog democrat.

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