Israel’s Impending Civil War

Uri Avnery in the London Review of Books:

ScreenHunter_2195 Sep. 06 18.56Something happens to retired chiefs of the Israeli internal Security Service, Shin Bet. Once they leave their jobs, they become spokesmen for peace. How come? Shin Bet agents are the only members of the establishment who come into real, direct, daily contact with Palestinians. 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 be intelligent) also come to conclusions that evade many politicians: that there is 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, on leaving the service, Shin Bet chiefs become outspoken advocates of the two-state solution.

The identity of all secret service personnel is, well, secret, except the chiefs. (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, like all my proposals, but soon afterwards the prime minister decreed that the names of the chiefs be 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 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.

More here.