Friday, May 4, 2012
While this week saw the date set for the next elections, the media were still following up on last weekend’s big headline: former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin’s unprecedented attack on the prime minister and defense minister.
Something in Diskin’s monotonous tone projects no-nonsense credibility. When he opens his mouth, people take him seriously. He followed Ami Ayalon and Avi Dichter as head of the domestic security service; after their successful terms, both men launched political careers. Under them, journalists got used to attributing statements in briefings to “senior security officials,” so they were surprised when Diskin saw no reason to conceal his identity. Anything he told them was on the record and attributable.
This was also Diskin’s approach at his talk in Kfar Sava last month, where in only four minutes he bombarded Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak with the following accusations: They are messianic, they are rich (and, by implication, spoiled and alienated from the masses ), and they can’t be trusted to lead Israel as it faces the Iranian nuclear threat.
A rather shaky amateur cameraman documented the scene; you can see a couple and their baby in a stroller ambling behind the speaker, not to mention the sunglasses hanging from Diskin’s collar. The props enhance the authenticity: Here, as everywhere else, the Shin Bet chief looks credible. Many politicians and defense officials say the same thing about his performance: First, they find Diskin’s style insufferable; second, they say he was speaking the truth.
This article was posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 at 9:09 am