Yuval Diskin

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Yuval Diskin (Hebrew: יובל דיסקין‎) (born 1956[1]) was the 12th Director of the Israeli Internal Security Service Shabak (frequently referred to in English as the "Shin Bet") between 2005 and 2011. He was first appointed to the position by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and later served under subsequent Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Binyamin Netanyahu. Since his retirement from the organisation, he has become increasingly involved in political activism, speaking against the diplomatic policies of the current government.

Background[edit]

Following his mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces, Diskin served as deputy company commander of Sayeret Shaked (the command Sayeret of the Israeli Southern Command). In 1978, he was recruited to the Shabak and served as an area coordinator in the Nablus district in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, responsible for gathering and analysing intelligence on the activities of Palestinian political organisations as well as terrorist groups in the area. During the 1982 Lebanon War, Diskin operated in Beirut and Sidon.

In 1984, he was appointed prime coordinator of the Nablus District, and, by 1989, the Jenin and Tulkarm districts, also in the northern West Bank. In 1990, he was appointed Department head in the Shabak's Arab Affairs Branch. In 1994, he became the overall head of the Arab Affairs Branch, and was responsible for liaising with the Arab Israeli population and directing the collection and analysis of intelligence from the Israeli Arab sector and from the Palestinian Territories. Diskin is a fluent speaker of Palestinian Arabic.[2]

From 1997, Diskin was appointed as the commander of the Jerusalem District. From 2000 to 2003, he was the Shabak's Deputy Director. From 2003, he was on a study sabbatical, during which he became special advisor to Mossad Director, Meir Dagan. On May 15, 2005, he was selected by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to replace Avi Dichter as Shabak Director. On May 15, 2011, Diskin was replaced in this position by his former deputy, Yoram Cohen.

In 2012, Diskin, along with the other living former directors of the Shabak, was featured in a documentary film, The Gatekeepers in which he discussed the main events of his tenure in the Shin Bet.

Views and opinions[edit]

In January 2013, prior to Israel's parliamentary elections, Diskin harshly criticized the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu. [3]

Diskin, along with former Mossad Director Meir Dagan and former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, have been highly critical of the diplomatic positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu's coalition; since his retirement from the Shin Bet, he has spoken on a number of occasions on his view of the need for diplomatic progress vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority and the wider Arab world.

References[edit]