Dagan warns of dangers of current political system

"Do you think that we are able, for a very long time, to maintain a government that has 28 ministers?" former Mossad chief says.

April 8, 2012 07:34
2 minute read.
Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan

Meir Dagan 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who has downplayed the urgency of the Iranian nuclear threat, played up the threat posed to Israel by its own political system in an interview last week with The Jerusalem Post.

“I believe our system is reaching a point where the government is almost incapable of running the country," Dagan warned. “We are on the edge of – I would not say a disaster because that is a bit exaggerated – but we are facing a very bad prognosis of what will happen in the future.”

Dagan formed an organization in November that is trying to obtain one million signatures from Israeli citizens supporting changing the system.

The organization hopes to use the petition to pressure the government to take action before the next general election.

Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu celebrated three years since his government’s formation last Saturday, Dagan said the tenure of Israeli governments was usually two years.

“The power has been shifted from the majority to the minority because [ruling parties] are forced to create coalition governments,” he said.

“National priorities are decided by the small parties who are establishing the coalition and not the majority. Anyone who is working and paying taxes and serves in the military is not receiving any support from the government, while everyone who is not working, not paying taxes and not serving in the military is receiving everything.”

Asked how and when such problems could be changed, he said he would do everything in his power to fix them as soon as possible.

Dagan complained about the large number of ministers and deputy minister, noting that Defense Minister Ehud Barak's party had five MKs and four ministers.

“Do you think that we are able, for a very long time, to maintain a government that has 28 ministers?” Dagan complained that solutions were not provided to the problems raised by last summer’s socioeconomic protesters, due to the limitations the political system imposes on the country's leaders.

“I think that the role of the prime minister should be defended,” he said. “We should allow prime minister to maintain their political line and try to achieve their goals. Now we are seeing [prime ministers forced to] compromise on a compromise on a compromise and what is achieved?"

Dagan ruled out entering politics. He complained about the current law that bars former IDF and intelligence chiefs from entering politics for three years following their retirement from service, saying that he did not expect that law to be changed because that would go against the interests of the MKs.

“We have a right to be killed for the government, we can lead hundreds of thousands of people into war, but we are not allowed to be elected,” Dagan said.

Meir Dagan will discuss the Iranian nuclear threat at the first annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on April 29.

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