Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Shin Bet

Six Past Mossad Directors Call for Diplomacy with the Palestinians

After committing crimes against humanity, they call for Diplomacy with Palestinians

In 2003, four former heads of Israel’s secret counter-terrorism service, Shin-Bet, were interviewed by the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

Their criticism of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s inaction to advance a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict caused an uproar and deeply influenced Sharon.

The interview later triggered the award-winning documentary film The Gatekeepers, featuring six past Shin-Bet directors who criticized the political status-quo.

Now, Yedioth Ahronoth is publishing a similar interview with all surviving six past directors of Israel’s spying agency, Mossad:  Zvi Zamir (93), Nahum Admoni (88), Shabtai Shavit (78), Danny Yatom (73), Efraim Halevy (83) and Tamir Pardo (65).

Following are excerpts from the March 30th interview with the six:

Yatom: “We’re on a very steep slope. There are serious things that are wrong here. People around the prime minister and people in key positions are being questioned about public corruption, and all of that is because they’ve put their own interests before the state’s interests. I’m worried by the attacks on the gatekeepers and the inaction in the diplomatic realm [i.e. the peace process with the Palestinians], which is leading us to a bi-national state, which is the end of the Jewish and democratic state. (In a sense, Yatom refuse an “independent” Palestinian State. And what kind of diplomatic negotiation is he hopping to achieve?)

“As a Mossad director, I think it is a mistake for us only to address the period in which we served. In the context of the job we saw a whole lot of things: we saw prime ministers, we saw the decision-making processes in governments. We saw wars. We saw times of peace. And more than many others, we worked closely with the prime minister and with the top state officials. If we don’t say what we have to say, I think that we will be sinning against ourselves.(And how often did they sin and kept silent?)

Pardo: “The fact that between the sea and the Jordan there is a nearly identical number of Jews and non-Jews. The central problem from 1967 until today is that Israel, across the entire breadth of its political establishment, hasn’t decided what country it wants to be. We are the only country in the world that hasn’t defined for itself what its borders are. All of the governments have fled from coping with the issue.

Yatom: “The Rabin government didn’t flee from that. He was assassinated.”

Halevy: “Danny is right. 1993 was the only year in the history of the country in which three tracks of peace negotiations were held simultaneously—with the Palestinians, with the Syrians and with the Jordanians.”

Pardo: “But no prime minister ever declared which borders he hoped to have for the state.”

Yatom: “Barak did define. He was willing to leave the Golan Heights and more or less [to withdraw] to the 1967 lines.

Pardo: Excuse me. I insist on my opinion. The governments of Israel didn’t do that. Olmert had a vision and so did Sharon and so did Rabin. Each one went the single mile that he chose to walk—but none of them said: these are the country’s borders. If the State of Israel doesn’t decide what it wants, in the end there will be a single state between the sea and the Jordan. That is the end of the Zionist vision.” (And what is Zionist vision? Colonial occupation? Mandated power to rule and control Palestinians?)

Yatom: “That’s a country that will deteriorate into either an apartheid state  or a non-Jewish state, if we continue to rule the territories. I see that as an existential danger. A state of that kind isn’t the state that I fought for. There are some people who will say that we’ve done everything and that there isn’t a partner, but that isn’t true. There is a partner. Like it or not, the Palestinians and the people who represent them are the partner we need to engage with.” (Actually, the existence of Israel is an existential threat, Not only to Palestinians, but to Lebanese, Syrians and Jordanians. Countless pre-emptive (offensive) wars were initiated by Israel for no serious reasons)

Halevy: “We’re the dominant [party] and in order to reach any sort of arrangement we have to first of all treat the other side with some degree of equality. Beyond that, we needn’t balk at speaking with Hamas. Hamas was established here 31 years ago. We used everything we have against it, and they still exist. So we can’t ignore that and make do with saying, ‘they’re terrorists.’ Hamas also made a certain change to its charter, which recognizes the 1967 lines as the temporary borders of the state. That’s a big change.”

Question: How critical is the issue of peace to Israel’s existence?

Zamir: “It’s critical. Ultimately, we’re going to have to find a formula that can serve as a basis for a discussion with the Palestinians.”

Pardo: “The State of Israel needs peace in order to exist over time.”

Halevy: “I’ll put it in even starker terms: without peace, the survival of the State of Israel, its existence, are in question.”

Yatom: “My assessment is that if Rabin hadn’t been assassinated we would long ago have had peace with the Palestinians, and perhaps also with the Syrians. As the strongest country in the Middle East we need to take calculated risks and to get back onto the track of dialogue.” (All the military updated weapons from the western State count weakly against the determination of the people to confront occupation and apartheid laws and behaviors)

Shavit: “A peace that is based on the idea of two states is a more important interest of the Jews than of the Palestinians. The situation we’re in now is the result of our insistence not to achieve peace.”

Question: Our insistence?

It’s a lie that there isn’t a partner. Neither we nor the Palestinians are going to make peace voluntarily, of our own will. In this situation, someone is going to come from above who is big and strong and influential and, if need be, will impose that.” (Not with the Trump administration and USA congress that voted on Jerusalem as Capital of Israel)

Question: So you’re saying that Israel needs to opt for an arrangement even if it contains elements that are dictated from above, by the Americans or the Saudi? (That’s funny. Does this means that the US is not funding enough Israel? $144 bn in the last 4 decades?)

“Yes. Because when it comes to the question of what we get in return, if we opt for the two-state solution on the basis of the Arab League’s proposal, which was originally written by the Saudis, the biggest dividend that we’re going to receive is a declaration of the end of the conflict with all 22 Arab League states and the establishment of diplomatic relations with them and with another 30 Muslim countries around the world.

If tomorrow 50 Muslim countries in the world make peace with Israel and have diplomatic and economic relations with it, we’ll get to see all of the countries that are on our scale—let’s say, all the Scandinavian countries and Holland and Switzerland—see our back [i.e. rank behind us].

Instead of that, what are we preoccupied with nowadays? When is the next time that we’re going into Gaza, and when is the next time we’re going into Lebanon? We need to break that cycle already.

Why are we living here? To have our grandchildren continue to fight wars? What is this insanity in which territory, land, is more important that human life?”

Pardo: “I think that within the borders of the country there can’t be first and second-class citizens. Anyone who thinks that over time it’s going to be possible to maintain two classes of population, those with rights and those without rights, is creating a problem for our grandchildren that they won’t be able to cope with, and it could very well be that they will simply leave.”

Note: The strategic and political climate during the Syrian multinational involvement destroyed any peaceful horizon. The New Syria, Iraq, Lebanon (Hezbollah), and Palestinians have no confidence in Israel wanting to engage in any meaningful peace process. Even the concept that Israel needs peace is wrong: Israel weapon industry does Not favor any long-term peace conditions in the region). Currently, the wars will be against the people and no longer with regimes.

TORTURE and ABUSE , PRISONERS, and ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION of Palestinians in Israel occupied territories

FACTS & FIGURES –

PRISONERS

‘Israeli military justice authorities arbitrarily detained Palestinians who advocated non-violent protest against Israeli settlements and the route of the separation barrier.

In January,a military appeals court increased the prison sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahme, from the village of Bil’in, to 16 months in prison on charges of inciting violence and organizing illegal demonstrations, largely on the basis of coerced statements of children.’

  • According to the Israel Prison Service, there were about 4424 Palestinian prisoners and security detainees being held in Israeli prisons as of the end of April 2012. According to prisoners’ rights organization Addameer, there were 4653 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel as of May 1, 2012.
  • Since 1967, Israel has imprisoned upwards of 700,000 Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, or about 20% of the total population of the occupied territories.
  • Those who are charged are subjected to Israeli military courts that human rights organizations have criticized for failing to meet the minimum standards required for a fair trial.
  • According to Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: “Palestinians in the [occupied territories] subject to Israel’s military justice system continued to face a wide range of abuses of their right to a fair trial. They are routinely interrogated without a lawyer and, although they are civilians, are tried before military not ordinary courts.”
  • According to Human Rights Watch’s 2012 World Report:

– TORTURE & ABUSE –

  • Until 1999, the use of torture by Israeli military and security forces was both widespread and officially condoned under the euphemism of “moderate physical pressure.” Methods included beatings, forcing prisoners into painful physical positions for long periods of time, and sleep deprivation.
  • In 2000 it was revealed that between 1988 and 1992 Israel’s internal security force, the Shin Bet, had systematically tortured Palestinians during the first, mostly nonviolent, uprising against Israel’s occupation, using methods that went beyond what was allowable under government guidelines for “moderate physical pressure.”
  • These methods included violent shaking, tying prisoners into painful positions for long periods, subjecting them to extreme heat or cold, and severe beatings, including kicking. At least 10 Palestinians died and hundreds of others were maimed as a result.
  • In 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the use of “moderate physical pressure” was illegal, however reports of torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners continued unabated.
  • Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories states:

    Consistent allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including of children, were frequently reported. Among the most commonly cited methods were beatings, threats to the detainee or their family, sleep deprivation, and being subjected to painful stress positions for long periods. Confessions allegedly obtained under duress were accepted as evidence in Israeli military and civilian courts.

  • Other abusive practices employed by Israel against Palestinian prisoners include the use of solitary confinement, denial of family visits, and forcing prisoners to live in unsanitary living conditions.
  • The harsh conditions endured by Palestinians in Israeli prisons prompted a series of hunger strikes, including a mass hunger strike by more than 1500 prisoners in early 2012 leading to some concessions from Israel. The concessions reportedly included an end to the use of solitary confinement as a punitive measure and allowing family visits for prisoners from Gaza.

– ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION –

  • Israel uses a procedure known as administrative detention to imprison Palestinians without charge or trial for months or even years. Administrative detention orders are normally issued for six-month periods, which can be extended indefinitely.
  • Administrative detention was first instituted by the British during the Mandate era in 1945, prior to the creation of Israel.
  • There are currently as of May 29, 2012, approximately 308 Palestinians being held in administrative detention.
  • Since 1967, some 100,000 administrative detention orders have been issued by Israel.
  • Although there are none currently being held in administrative detention, Israeli authorities have in the past used the procedure against Palestinian children as well as adults.
  • Israel’s frequent use of administrative detention has been condemned by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Israeli human rights groups like B’Tselem.
  • An end to the use of administrative detention was one of the main demands of a recent wave of hunger strikes by Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
  • In May 2012, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch implicitly admitted that Israel uses administrative detention for reasons other than stated urgent “security” concerns, urging authorities to “use it only if there’s a need.”

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