Op-Ed: "The Gatekeepers": Identifying With the Enemy
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.
"Zero Dark Thirty" is the new acclaimed movie telling the story of the CIA after 9/11. Torture, black sites and extra judicial renditions are depicted as fundamental tools to dismantle Al Qaeda's hierarchy and locate the Saudi sheikh.
This is also what Israel's security service, the Shin Bet, did to destroy Palestinian Arab terror infrastructures. For the first time, a docufilm, "The Gatekeepers", gives the opportunity to listen this story from the very voice of the six living former heads of the Shabak: Avraham Shalom, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gillon, Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter and Yuval Diskin.
Like their American colleagues, these six Israelis ordered the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques", like the "shaking", which means the repeated shaking of the suspect’s upper torso, in a manner which causes the neck and head to swing rapidly; or the "Frog Crouch" position, which means the consecutive, periodical crouches on the tips of one’s toes.
The Shin Bet did it for a good cause:- stopping the terrorists before they could slaughter Jewish civilians. So what's wrong in "The Gatekeepers", the new Israeli Oscar nomination?
That it is the symbol of Israel's malaise.
The six Shin Bet heads are willing to say almost anything that will portray them as being “pro-peace.” They express alienation, suicidal temptations, and even self-hatred to the point of automatic identification with Israel’s enemies in their pubblic appeareances. They are victims of an “Oslo Syndrome”, like the Stockholm Syndrome in which hostages come to identify with their captors.
They say - without any shame - that the "price tag", which they use to demonize the entire hilltop youth in Judea and Samaria (and in which not one supposed perpetrator has been indicted or one person hurt) is violence worse than Jihad beheaders.
This is true also for the Mossad's chiefs. Ephraim Halevy declared that hareudi Jews pose a bigger threat to Israel than Iran's nuclear program. His successor, Meir Dagan, orchestrated the most impressive public campaign against his own government about how to disarm Teheran. Dagan was pleased to release an interview to the New Yorker magazine in which he presented himself as a "dissident".
Compare the Israeli security chiefs with José Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA clandestine program, who after 9/11 was in charge of waterboarding. He just wrote a book titled "Hard Measures" to claim the success of the "enhanced interrogation techniques", methods some consider torture. He doesn't swing, he doesn't instill confusion in his readers. He simply explains that the dirty job had to be done after 3,000 Americans were killed in cold blood.
One can legitimately criticize Israeli governments, their errors and deaf ear. But some kind of sickness is driving the Israeli chiefs of security to toe the line with the worst emotions of global public opinion. There is a deep chasm between the pretensions of the "good conscience" of these people and the realism of history.
People like Diskin have put an aura of crimson on Judea and Samaria and the notion of removing all Jews from areas handed over to “Palestine” has become a legitimate plan even in some of the rightist camp.
Already in 2003, former Shin-Bet chiefs Ayalon, Peri, Gilon, and Shalom in a joint interview called upon the government to withdraw from Gaza and evacuate Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. A few weeks later, Ariel Sharon announced the Gush Katif expulsion.
The Shin Bet chiefs even argued that just as in war,, one must be prepared to suffer losses, so too “peace” extracts a bloody price. And in a kind of impetus of self-destruction they adopted the official mantra: “There is no military solution, only a political solution!”.
They also allowed masked hatchet-bearing murderers to be eligible for the “Palestinian”police force. The Jews gave the Arabs the guns to kill innocent civilians!
These so-called security officers have turned the victims of terror into the "victims of occupation". They have made a religion out of security which has become a fetish.
During the Second Intifada, Israel's largest newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, led with a banner headline, "We are on the Way to Catastrophe", with a joint interview of four Shin Bet chiefs. The people in charge of security surrendered. That's why the world media, which is genuinly anti-Semitic, is giving them a powerful platform to spread depression about Israel's future.
The morality of Israeli security chiefs is not longer in tune with reality. Its refutations are Israel’s security, very existence, identity and memory. These personalities attract so much attention abroad because of the baleful influence they have on Israel’s reputation, as they promulgate the most vicious distortions about Israel.
The truth is that these new heroes of the Left were failures. They didn't foresee the Palestinian reactions to the Oslo process, the first Intifada, or the second. Their gospel, "negotiations under fire and unilateral withdrawal", has been the recipe for disaster for the Jewish people after the Holocaust. Their "victims of occupation" line gave the Palestinians carte blanche to murder the Jews in Samaria as in Tel Aviv. Jews have been killed because they are "occupiers".
Just as Chamberlain let Hitler militarize the Rinheland, take Austria, march into the Sudetenland and devour Prague, these "brave Israelis" will let the Palestinian intifadites militarize the Binyiamn high ground, take Ofra, march into Gush Etzion and devour Jerusalem.
Shame on these former Israeli "torturers", who are now looking for global headlines and are consciously selling their Jewish brethen to get a new virginity. Israel today is safe because of the Tapuah Junction, not because of these apparatchik turned millionaires.