Former defense officials object to confirming Syria attack

“I’m not sure it was good to publicize the attack on Syria now. We could’ve done it seven years ago or in another seven years.”

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March 21, 2018 22:18
1 minute read.
Moshe Yaalon

Moshe Yaalon. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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While most officials’ discussion of Israel’s 2007 attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor revolving around taking credit, some former defense figures on Wednesday instead questioned the wisdom and the timing of making the confirmation public.

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon questioned the decision to confirm the attack, implying that political calculations might be involved.

Ya’alon was speaking at the Netanyahu Academic College Meir Dagan Conference. He also expressed doubt about whether Dagan, a former IDF major-general and Mossad director who died in March 2016, would have approved of acknowledging Israel carried out the attack after only 10 years had passed.

At the same conference, another former Mossad director, Tamir Pardo, went even further. “I’m not sure it was good to publicize the attack on Syria now. We could’ve done it seven years ago or in another seven years.”


He warned that the official confirmation was part of the “problem in Israeli culture of a battle of egos to take credit” for such secret operations.

Former IDF intelligence research division head Eli Ben Meir was also lukewarm about the decision to confirm the attack. In comments to Israel Radio on Wednesday, he took a disapproving tone while responding to some questions, noting that he had not approved the confirmation.

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