Saturday, November 15, 2003

"We are behaving disgracefully."

Last month General Moshe Ya'alon, chief of staff of the Israeli army, launched a stinging attack on the policies of Ariel Sharon, saying that they were counterproductive and simply increased Palestinian resentment of Israel. This month, it's the turn of the intelligence services. Four former heads of Shin Bet (the bunch that does disappearings and assassinations, among other things) have called for Israel to end the occupation, evacuate the settlers, and withdraw to the Green Line. Highlights include:

Ami Ayalon, the Shin Bet director from 1996 to 2000, said: "We are taking very sure and measured steps to a point where the state of Israel will not be a democracy or a home for the Jewish people."

Yaakov Peri, the director of Shin Bet from 1988 to 1995, supported him, saying: "From whatever aspect you look at it we are going in the direction of decline, nearly a catastrophe.If something doesn't happen here, we will continue to live by the sword, we will continue to wallow in the mud and we will continue to destroy ourselves."


Mr Shalom said: "All the steps that we have taken are steps that are contrary to the aspiration for peace. If we do not turn away from this path, of adhering to the entire land of Israel, and if we do not also begin to understand the other side we will not get anywhere. We must admit that there is another side, that it has feelings and that it is suffering, and that we are behaving disgracefully."

The people who are (or have been) in charge of Israel's security think that Sharon's policies are a disaster, and that peace is not achievable by ever-escalating force and brutality. I wonder if Sharon will accuse them of anti-Semitism?