Former Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Yuval Diskin is known for his strong criticism of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but even he thought that former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni crossed a line in her sharp attack of Netanyahu on a satirical television program several days ago.
Writing on Facebook, Diskin said that Livni’s remarks were “unacceptable and ugly”.
“I normally have a great appreciation for Livni’s attitudes and values, but in this case I'm coming out against her in the most aggressive manner,” he said.
“It is permissible and even desirable to criticize,” stressed Diskin. “This is in part the essence of democracy. Personally, I too have criticism over the conduct of the Prime Minister and his leadership style and his lack of personal example. But there is a fine line in my opinion, that once people cross it, they become what Netanyahu and his friends were when they ignored the incitement of their supporters against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.”
“I call on Tzipi Livni, as well as on many of my friends, to immediately apologize for her remarks,” said Diskin.
Livni, who appeared on the “Matzav HaUma” (State of the Union) satirical program on Channel 2 on Saturday night, took satire to a different level and was perceived to have gone beyond the realms of political correctness.
"Two potential Prime Ministers are better than an impotent Prime Minister,” Livni said of her unity pact with Labor leader MK Yitzhak Herzog.
"Yitzhak and I decided to take out the garbage together," Livni said, hinting at Netanyahu. She later said, “The truth is that Bibi said that we’re going to elections because of the 0% VAT. I thought there is a zero in this story, but it’s not the VAT.”
The comments were criticized by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), who said, "Since we cut off ties with [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas she has simply become unbalanced. She's addicted to talks with the Palestinians and can't quit."
Coalition chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin denounced the derogatory comments as well, telling Arutz Sheva that Livni had “completely lost it” in her appearance on the show.
“What we saw last night is beyond who we saw during the previous Knesset term. Even in terms of style and expression level it seems that she completely lost it,” said Elkin, who added, “I want to see all the reporters who attacked me for calling [Livni and Herzog] ‘the beauty and the geek who will not pass the threshold’ speaking out against Livni now. I used parliamentary expressions but she stooped to a new low. But I guess the left is allowed to lash out using such crude expressions. This is probably part of the rules of the game.”