Ehud Barak 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak harshly criticized former Mossad chief Meir Dagan on
Sunday for his comments over the weekend that an air strike against Iran would
be a “foolish idea.”
Dagan made the comments in a lecture to senior
faculty at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
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He said that the
effectiveness of an attack against Iran would be questionable but that it was
almost certain that such a strike would lead to a regional war involving missile
attacks from Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and possibly Syria.
has done a lot for the security of the state and completed his term
outstandingly, leaving a lasting mark on what happens in the Middle East,” Barak
said during a tour of the border with the Gaza Strip together with IDF Chief of
General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal
“I am not sure, however, that his remark, as reported in the
media, is correct and I am certain that if we are to deal with these matters
responsibly, then it is not right to share these thoughts – even if they are
legitimate – with the public,” Barak added.
Dagan’s comments on Friday –
his first time speaking publicly since retiring earlier this year – were widely
interpreted as a possible attempt to undermine potential Israeli plans to take
military action against Iran. He has said in the past that Israel needs to
continue investing in covert action and that Iran will not have a nuclear weapon
Barak said that all of the country’s security and defense
organizations – the IDF, Mossad and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) – were
tasked with building up capabilities and submitting recommendations to political
leaders, who are charged with making the final decision.
“In the end,
these are decisions that belong to the political echelon,” he said.
said that 63 years after its establishment, the state’s existence depended on
the IDF and continued investment in the military.
“On the one hand, after
63 years, Israel is still the strongest country in the Middle East, but it is
clear that we have yet to reach the stage when we can rest,” Barak
“The entire region is undergoing a historic and unprecedented
upheaval, which we are still unsure of how it will end, and our security is in
the hands of the IDF.”