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Diskin: Israel Approaching the 'Point of No Return'

Israel will need to promote peace or risk becoming a minority in the region, warns former Shin Bet head.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 7/27/2013, 12:55 AM

Yuval Diskin
Yuval Diskin
Flash 90

Former Israel Security Authority (Shin Bet) head Yuval Diskin said Friday that Israel was approaching the “point of no return” when it came to achieving peace in the region.

Speaking to Channel 10 News, Diskin warned that soon the point will come when it will be impossible to make any changes in the area.

"Our leaders on both sides, both us and the Palestinians, are deep in the mud with very little energy and ability to move forward," said Diskin.

"There are some things that are very painful which might have to happen in order to get the ball rolling,” he added. "If we do not try, then we will never know. Not doing anything and saying, 'Let's wait and see what happens’ is what we’ve been doing for many years, unfortunately. I do not believe in this approach.”

Hinting that he was a supporter of territorial concessions on the part of Israel as part of a peace agreement, Diskin warned that unless Israel did something, it would turn into “an apartheid state.”

"The region, life, demography, geography - everything is changing all the time and I think we are likely to get to the point, and we are very close to it already, that it would be impossible to change anything anymore,” he said. “We really are close to the point of no return. We’ll be there soon and there will be no warning, no one will ring the bells. One day we will see that it is impossible to do it. In such a situation we’ll have to either annex the territory or give the Palestinian people equal rights here. Otherwise we will be an apartheid state. That's why I think that in this situation there is no choice but to try to give this thing a chance.”

When asked how long before the point of no return, DIskin replied, "I do not know. There are those who I’ve heard, good friends of mine, they say we are past that point. I think we’re getting close to it quickly, but I do not think we’ve crossed it yet. But I believe that within two-three years, unless a dramatic decision is made, we’ll be past that point.”

Diskin said that this is largely a moment of truth for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as negotiations between the sides are set to resume.

“We are entering a process where, within an X number of decades we will become a minority here. Now the question is - do we want to live in this situation?” he said.

Asked whether he supports the release of terrorist prisoners to meet the PA’s condition to renew negotiations, Diskin replied, "I am opposed to the release of prisoners, definitely to the disproportionate release of prisoners under the dictates of a terrorist organization. I objected to this in the past, I opposed it even in the Shalit deal, but I see a significant difference when a government wants to advance the diplomatic process and it initiates a gesture of a release of prisoners to produce negotiations.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)