Tamir Pardo, who served as the chief of Israel's intelligence agency Mossad from 2011 to 2016, said that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is the only existential threat facing the country.
According to Haaretz, the liberal Israeli newspaper, Pardo asserted Tuesday that “Israel has chosen not to choose, hoping the conflict will resolve itself — perhaps the Arabs will disappear, maybe some cosmic miracle will happen.”
While speaking at a conference at the Netenya Academic College, Pardo added that the Jewish state could soon end simply because the country has failed to put an cease to the occupation.
One day, he continued, “we will become a binational state because it will be impossible to untie the Gordian knot between the two peoples. That is not the way to decide.”
When discussing what real threats the Jewish state faces, Pardo said that the country only has one “existential threat,” which happens to be “a ticking time bomb:”
“We chose to stick our head in the sand, creating a variety of external threats. An almost identical number of Jews and Muslims reside between the sea and the Jordan. The non-Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria live under occupation. This is Israel's definition, not mine. The law in this territory is as we have made it, a military justice system that is subject to the authority of the Israel Defense Forces.”
Despite withdrawing from the Gaza strip, Pardo continued, responsibility over the territory remains in the hands of the Israeli state.
With the “humanitarian situation” in Gaza being problematic, the former Mossad chief said, “Israel must deal with the demographic reality and [decide] which state we want to be. Life with alternative facts harbors a disaster for the Zionist vision. The key to saving the state requires brave leadership.”
Earlier in the conference, current Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen chose a very different message from his predecessor, saying that the country's main threat is Iran.
"As long as the Ayatollah regime exists, Iran will be the primary challenge for the security establishment, with or without the nuclear deal," he said — apparently oblivious to the fact that a Mossad document leaked two years ago demonstrates that the Iranian government was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
Recently, a United Nations report stated that Israel has established "an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole."
Pardo seems to echo the same concerns many others have, and yet, few seem willing to press Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the matter.
As President Donald Trump's administration announces that they will boycott a UN meeting because the organization is “biased against Israel,” it's hard to see comments made by individuals like Pardo making a major difference in the long run.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Amir Cohen