Former Shin Bet Head Says Israelis Won’t Back Peace Agreement

YERUSHALAYIM -

Former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin has added his voice to the general pessimism surrounding peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Even if an agreement could be reached, which seems unlikely at this stage, he doubted it would be ratified.

“It’s obvious that, at least according to the current political map, there is no chance the Israeli public will accept a peace agreement,” Diskin said at a conference in the Finance Ministry reported on by Army Radio on Monday.

As for the Palestinian side, Diskin said Egypt’s and Jordan’s involvement in the peace process would help to legitimize Mahmoud Abbas, opening the possibility that he might make a real decision.

Diskin has been a critic of the Netanyahu government’s peacemaking efforts, accusing it of essentially evading the painful concessions implied by a two-state solution.

Abbas gets his share of the blame too. Diskin wrote recently that Netanyahu and Abbas have continued “the blame game… [which] is foolish in my eyes, a useless game that is dangerous on a strategic level, in which the real losers are not the leaders, but rather their two nations, and mostly the state of Israel,” he warned.

Diskin added that mounting anger over the impasse increases the chances of another intifada.