Bibi Netanyahu has decided who his new Shin Bet director will be. The name is a closely guarded secret and has not yet been reported in Israel or anywhere. He is Yitzhak Ilan, the deputy under the current director Yuval Diskin. He will assume his new role in May 2011, when Diskin steps down. There is very little available online about Ilan, which is to be expected.
During the recent controversy surrounding the naming of a new IDF chief of staff, the losing candidate, Benny Gantz, was touted as a potential candidate to replace Diskin. Apparently, both Diskin and Netanyahu wished to elevate the new director from within the ranks.
But Haaretz has reported in the past on Ilan’s organizational background in the Shin Bet. Ilan was elevated to the number 2 position in the middle of a juicy sex scandal last year, which implicated the then deputy to Diskin, D., in a cover up. The agency’s number 3, code named “Claude,” had bedded one of his female subordinates and disciplined the woman’s husband, also a Shin Bet agent. D. was sent on an extended vacation to contemplate the errors of his ways. Diskin wanted to fire Claude, but the latter was too wily and threatened to wash all his dirty linen in public. So instead of being out of a job, Claude was demoted to the job of head of the Jewish terror unit. The cuckholded husband had the last word though, because he filed a civil service complaint against “Claude” and Diskin, which forced the latter ultimately to fire the former.
The job at the Jewish terror section was open for Claude because Diskin appointed the then-director of the unit, Ilan, to be his new deputy, replacing the disgraced D. Are you keeping track of all this on your scorecards at home?
Ilan, as then-director of the Jewish terror unit, was responsible for the [miserable failure of the] Jack Teitel investigation. Teitel is the American Jewish terrorist implicated in multiple anti-Palestinian acts of violence and murders who engaged in his crime spree over a decade or more. The final straw was the bomb Teitel exploded at the home of Hebrew University Prof. Zeev Sternhell, which wounded him. The Shabak finally caught him tacking up flyers on a Jerusalem street which bragged about the bombing. Teitel is also considered a suspect or organizer of the shootings at the Tel Aviv gay community center which killed two, in the murders of two Israeli policemen in the Beit Shean valley, and in the bombing of the home of a Messianic Jewish missionary, which wounded his teenage son.
Ilan is a veteran of the Shabak who has filled many senior roles including chief of investigations and was thought, until the sex scandal, to be likely to retire form the service.
The question really is will anything be different? Will Ilan merely pursue the same objectives with the same brutality as his predecessor? The answer is likely to be Yes. The only way the Shabak will transform itself is when the State it serves demands that it do so. The State of Israel gets the secret police it demands. And the Shabak and operatives like Ilan are only too happy to accommodate it.
So unfortunately, Yonatan Shapira can still expect to be summoned to friendly chats with Shin Bet agents warning him about the errors of his ways in supporting BDS, and Israeli Palestinians like Azmi Bishara and Ameer Makhoul can still expect arrests in the dead of night followed by weeks-long interrogations under abusive conditions, followed by announcements trumpeting their crimes of betrayal against the State, backed up with no evidence whatsoever. Diskin will go, long live the new Diskin.
If any readers have a photo of Ilan, please let me know.