Something strange happens to retired chiefs of the Israeli internal Security
Service, Shin Bet.
The service is by definition a central pillar of the Israeli occupation. It
is admired by (Jewish) Israelis, feared by Palestinians, respected by security
professionals everywhere. The occupation could not exist without it.
And here is the paradox: once the chiefs of the service leave their jobs, they
become spokesmen for peace. How come?
Actually, there is a logical explanation. Shin Bet agents are the only part
of the establishment which comes into real, direct, daily contact with the Palestinian
reality. They interrogate Palestinian suspects, torture them, try to turn them
into informers. They collect information, penetrate the most remote parts of
Palestinian society. They know more about the Palestinians than anybody else
in Israel (and perhaps in Palestine, too).
The intelligent among them (intelligence officers can indeed be intelligent,
and often are) also think about what they become aware of. They come to conclusions
that evade many politicians: that we are faced with a Palestinian nation, that
this nation will not disappear, that the Palestinians want a state of their
own, that the only solution to the conflict is a Palestinian state next to Israel.
And so we see a strange phenomenon: upon leaving the service, the Shin Bet
chiefs, one after another, become outspoken advocates of the “two-state
The same is happening to the chiefs of the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence
Their main job its to fight against the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians
in particular. Yet the moment they leave the service, they become advocates
of the two-state solution, in direct contradiction to the policy of the Prime
Minister and his government.
All personnel of the two secret services are, well – secret. All except
(This is my achievement. When I was a member of the Knesset, I submitted a
bill which stipulated that the name of the service chiefs be made public. The
bill was rejected, of course, like all my proposals, but soon after the Prime
Minister decreed that the names of the chiefs be indeed made public.)
Some time ago, Israeli TV showed a documentary called “The Doorkeepers”,
in which all the living ex-chiefs of the Shin-Bet and the Mossad were asked
about the solutions to the conflict.
All of them, with different levels of intensity, advocated peace based on the
“two-state solution”. They expressed their opinion that there will
be no peace unless the Palestinians achieve a national state of their own.
At the time, Tamir Pardo was the chief of the Mossad and could not express
opinions. But since early 2016, he is again a private person. This week he opened
his mouth in public for the first time.
As his name suggests, Pardo is a Sephardic Jew, born 63 years ago in…