Saturday, April 28, 2012

Israeli intelligence chiefs beg to differ with Netanyahu's "messianic" stance

Yuval Diskin, the former head of Israel's Shin Bet security agency has accused the country's political leaders of exaggerating the effectiveness of a possible military strike against Iran, in a striking indication of Israel's turmoil over how to deal with the Iranian nuclear program. He said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak – who have been saber-rattling for months – have their judgment clouded by "messianic feelings" and should not be trusted to lead policy on Iran.
Diskin is not alone inside Israel challenging claims made by warmongers inside Israel (and the USA, UK and France). A few days ago Israel's current top military commander, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, also seemed to disagree with the country's leadership on the likelihood that Iran will pursue a nuclear weapon. Last summer  Israel's recently retired spy chief Meir Dagan called a military strike against Iran's nuclear program "stupid." Dan Halutz, who led the military from 2005 to 2007, also criticized Netanyahu last month for invoking Holocaust imagery in describing the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran. "We are not kings of the world," Halutz said. "We should remember who we are." A recent   survey, conducted by the Israeli Dahaf agency for the University of Maryland,  suggested the public agrees. 
For those of us who want peace to prevail over war are happy to note that Diskin's comments deepened the sense that a rift is growing between the hawkish Netanyahu government and the security establishment over the question of a strike. Hopefully, Israeli leaders would behave rationally for the good of their country and the world by not preempting any strike against Iran, whether or not aided by their western masters. 
For details read here.

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