Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin dispelled rumors of an impending leap into political life on Monday, telling reporters “I’m not entering politics and I won’t be running in the next election.”
Diskin has often spoken out against the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, due to his extensive defense background, had been seen by many in the left as a potentially strong addition to the dovish camp. Some have even touted him as a viable candidate for the premiership.
But Diskin said on Monday that having weighed the possibility, his decision was not to run for office any time soon.
Speaking at an event at Kibbutz Be’eri in the Gaza periphery, Diskin one again expressed his disdain for the current government policies vis-à-vis the peace process.
The government, he said, “has succeeded through a process lasting many years — and the Palestinians are also responsible for this — to create the mind-set in the Israeli public that there is no partner on the other side, there’s no one to talk to and no one to make peace with and that it’s a lost cause.”
But Diskin said he did not believe this to be true.
“I won’t paint a rosy picture that on the other side are people holding doves with olive branches,” he said. “It will be very hard to make peace with the Palestinians but processes can be created, things can be done to solve some of the problems.”
“The only way to reach a deal with the Palestinians is through a regional agreement,” he stated. “The first level is through Egypt and Jordan, the second level is Saudi Arabia and other Arab states and the third level is the Americans and the Europeans.
“The Saudi peace initiative has positive aspects, and we’ve never discussed it seriously. The state of Israel should say ‘Let’s update this and make it a basis for talks.’ We need to turn to the world and announce that we’re going for a regional summit,” he said.
However, he said, Netanyahu was not up to the job, due to a combination of his dysfunctional coalition and what Diskin called his inability to make decisions.