By Soroor Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
After the former head of Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, Meir Dagan, and chief of the army staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, who both took entirely different line on Iran, it is the turn of the country’s former domestic intelligence agency chief who came down heavily on the hardline stand of his own prime minister and defence minister on Iran.
In a speech broadcast by Israel Radio on Saturday Yuval Diskin, who stepped down as head of the Shin Bet a year ago, dubbed the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak unfit to tackle the Iranian nuclear programme because of what he called the “messianic feelings” behind their threats to launch a pre-emptive war on Iran.
Diskin was lethal in his attack on the two. “I have no faith in the prime minister, nor in the defense minister.”
“I really don’t have faith in a leadership that makes decisions out of messianic feelings,” he re-emphasized.
Netanyahu and Barak have repeatedly been warning Iran and appealing to the United States and western allies to impose stricter sanction on Tehran.
This is so notwithstanding the fact that Iran has always maintained that its uranium enrichment programme has peaceful objective.
Only on Wednesday, while giving an interview to an Israel daily, Haaretz, on the eve of country’s Indepedence day Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, said Iran is led by “very rational people” and doesn’t appear poised to build a nuclear bomb that would threaten Isreal. He also said “The State of Israel is the strongest in the region and will remain so. Decisions can and must be made carefully, out of historic responsibility but without hysteria.”
Diskin said he was not necessarily opposed to Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear sites pre-emptively, though he cited experts who argue that such an action might backfire by accelerating Tehran’s quest for a bomb. Yet, he said, going to war was not a job for Netanyahu, a second-term premier, nor Barak.
“I have seen them up close,” he said in the speech. “They are not people who I personally, at least, trust to be able to lead Israel into an event on such a scale, and to extricate it.”
Though the Prime Minister’s Office and Defence Ministry had no immediate response to Diskin’s remarks a Netanyahu deputy, Silvan Shalom, rebuked him and sought to assure Israelis that democratic process guided the government strategy.
“Not everyone thinks the same thing. This is not a decision that would be made by two people,” he told Israel Radio.