June 16, 2011

IS THE FOOLISHNESS OF THEIR POLICIES REALLY A STATE SECRET THERE?:

The Mossad man who can’t keep a secret (Nathalie Rothschild, 6/16/11, spiked)

With his hawkish image, Meir Dagan, the former boss of one of the world’s most awed spy agencies, hardly fits the conventional mould of the maverick whistleblower. Yet since stepping down as head of Mossad in January, after eight years in the post, Dagan has been spilling the beans in a series of unusual public statements and appearances.

Dagan put the Israeli political establishment and commentariat in a spin last month when he told delegates at a Hebrew University conference that a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, a cornerstone of Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s defence strategy, would be a ‘stupid idea’. He said military action could lead to a long war that might threaten Israel’s existence.

Weeks later, speaking at Tel Aviv University, Dagan reiterated this point, and also complained that Israel had failed to put forward a peace initiative with the Palestinians. He said Israel had been foolish to ignore the Saudi peace initiative, which promised full diplomatic relations in exchange for a return to the 1967 borders. He expressed concern about Israel possibly being pushed into a diplomatic corner as Palestinians prepare to push through a UN declaration in September that would recognise a Palestinian state based on the 1949 armistice lines.

The day after his Tel Aviv appearance, Dagan questioned the leadership skills of Netanyahu and of defence minister Ehud Barak. In a leaked statement to journalists, he reportedly suggested that his retirement and the near-simultaneous retirement of other top security chiefs – military chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, and the director of the Shin Bet internal security agency, Yuval Diskin – had taken away a necessary alternative voice in decision-making, particularly regarding a possible military attack on Iran.

A number of Knesset members are now supporting an amendment to the Public Service Act designed to limit officials’ ability to comment publicly on matters regarding their office after they retire.

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Posted by at June 16, 2011 7:32 AM
  

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