Former head of the Israeli intelligence Mossad, Tamir Pardo, said that Israel is using the apartheid system in the West Bank.
Pardo added in an interview with The Associated Press: “This is an apartheid state, on a land where two peoples are subject to two legal systems. Yes, this is an apartheid state.”
Pardo did not specify whether he believed this happened during his 2011-2016 Mossad presidency, but he reaffirmed his belief that the Palestinian issue is one of the most pressing issues in Israel prior to the Iranian nuclear program, which the prime minister Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers an existential threat.
Pardo noted that “during his presidency of the Mossad, Netanyahu repeatedly warned that the borders of Israel must be determined, otherwise there would be a danger of the destruction of the Jewish state.”
Pardo’s comments and the comprehensive reform plan come as Israel’s far-right government, made up of ultra-nationalist parties that support the annexation of the West Bank, is working to consolidate Israeli control of the territory, with some ministers promising to double the number of settlers now. living in the West Bank who reach their number reaches half a million.
Last year, Pardo became outspoken in his criticism of Netanyahu and his government’s efforts to reform the judiciary: “His criticism comes against the backdrop of moves by the Likud government that he says will turn Israel into a dictatorship.”
His candid assessment of the Israeli military occupation on Wednesday is a rarity among leaders of the popular judicial reform protest movement, which has largely avoided talking about the occupation for fear it will scare away more nationalist judicial reform protesters by joining a small group. Pensioners who support this idea remain aloof from Israeli discourse and international diplomacy.