Jerusalem Post – May 8, 2011
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday morning commented on former Mossad chief Meir Dagan’s statements over the weekend, saying that Dagan is a man with many rights who has contributed greatly to the state, but that he should not have shared his thoughts with the public.
Dagan said on Saturday that “an aerial attack against Iran’s nuclear reactors would be foolish,” adding that such an attack would start a regional war whose end Israel cannot foresee.
“I’m not sure his statements are correct, and if we’re dealing with intelligence issues, it is not right to share those statements with the public,” Barak said.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also said that it was unfortunate that Dagan’s comments were made in public.
In contrast to Barak and Steinitz’s comments, two former Mossad chiefs Danny Yatom and Efraim Halevy said that statements made by Dagan were appropriate for the public to hear.
Yatom told Israel Radio that on critical security issues, the Mossad chief should, and even must, share his opinion after he has finished his term. Halevy expressed similar sentiments to Yatom, saying that it is appropriate for a former Mossad head to make comments after he leaves his position if there are things that are important for the public to know.
Halevy said that he would pick other issues to discuss, but that the things Dagan said do not deny the government its authority to make any decisions.
Yatom added that Dagan’s comments on Iran had already been revealed before, and that he personally would not rule out military action against Iran if all other actions do not achieve their objective.