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Israeli Security Elite Slams Netanyahu, sidetracks War on Iran

Posted on 04/30/2012 by Juan

Not only are high officials and former officials of the Israeli security establishment pushing hard back against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s seeming rush to war with Iran, they appear actually to be attempting to unseat him, as it becomes possible that Israel may go to early elections in September.

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has become the latest former high-ranking figure to savage Netanyahu and his defense minister Ehud Barak, for their threats to attack Iran unilaterally and soon.

In contrast to Netanyahu’s circles, who have threatened a unilateral Israeli strike this summer, Olmert said categorically in a television interview that this is “definitely not to initiate an Israeli military strike.” Olmert, no dove, had himself launched the 2006 Lebanon and the 2008-9 Gaza Wars. But neither went well for Israel, and Olmert may have learned something from that.

On Friday, the former head of Israeli domestic intelligence, Yuval Diskin, warned that attacking Iran would likely impel it to begin a nuclear weapons program, which Israeli and US intelligence believe it does not now have.

Kadima Party leader Shaul Mofaz defended Diskin from criticism and said that Netanyahu is afraid to face him.

Former officials and opposition leaders have also been scathing about Netanyahu’s lack of interest in negotiating in good faith with Palestine Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, alleging that Netanyahu has zero interest in genuine peace talks.

Now that Netanyahu is talking about holding early parliamentary elections, it is particularly hard to see the rising chorus of attacks as anything but an attempt to convince the Israeli public that Netanyahu is a wild man who should not be re-elected. It may be that some of them are also close to the Obama administration position, which is that it is possible to deal effectively with Iran through sanctions and negotiations.

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§ 12 Responses to “Israeli Security Elite Slams Netanyahu, sidetracks War on Iran”

  • dsmith says:

    I saw where Netanyahu’s father died. After reading the elder Netanyau’s bio it’s easy to see where the son got his all war-all the time ideas from.

    Speaking of war…fifteen US soldiers died this week in Afghanistan. All of these men had mothers, fathers left behind to mourn their death. Some of these dead soldiers had brothers, sisters, wives and children who will never speak to them again because of a senseless, stupid war that no one wants…save the neocons and war profiteers.

    Which brings us back to the fat little man with the bad comb over and his quest to involve us into another needless war that will kill more soldiers and innocent civilians. Netanyahu should be declared insane!

    • Mark Koroi says:

      Benzion Netanyahu, who died at the age of 102, served as secretary to Ze’ev Jabotinsky early in his career. Jabotinsky believed in the ultraconservative concept of Greater Israel and is still revered within Israel, having many parks named after him.

      Binyamin Netanyahu’s brother was an IDF commando killed in the 1976 Entebbe raid.

      These events undoubtedly shaped his world view.

  • Don Utter says:

    Finally a bit of sanity in Israel. More war is not the answer.

    Meanwhile, back here in the good old USA, we have a Warrior President. One in love with Drones, without regard to the innocent people they kill, nor to how they lead to more terrorists.

    And Democrats who support Obama have the ability to ignore his militarism and his attack on civil liberties. We just about have the legal system in place to enact a fascist state.

    Article by Glenn Greenwald about the warrior president at the link.

    link to salon.com

    • joe from Lowell says:

      Your response to a piece about sections of the Israeli government coming out for the more-peaceful position advanced by President Obama is to laud the sanity in Israel, and contrast it to the “warrior President” Obama?

      Amazing. There is literally nothing that sidetracks this talking point, is there?

  • rfjk says:

    And may it also be likely that Obama, working surreptitiously through his ‘principals’ and appointees has been meddling in Israeli affairs, undermining Netanyahu?

  • Debbie says:

    Mitt will be so upset if this happens. Netanyahu and Romney have been friends for decades, and Netanyahu is married to a former Bain partner of Mitt’s.

    Maybe a few high officials and former officials of the Israeli security found out something they didn’t know.

  • Mark Koroi says:

    Yuval Diskin’s warnings should be heeded about a military attack against Iran actually backfiring and causing Iran to begin implementing a nuclear weapons program.

    During the last decade anti-terrorism experts warned the Israeli government leadership that its “targeted killings” of Hamas political leaders was imprudent as it (1)tended to create greater cohesion between Hamas and more violent Islamic gropus such as Islamic Jihad, and (2) allow Hamas’ military wing more influence since the political wing was generally more conducive to peaceful negoatiations. This was disregarded and violence soared during that decade in Gaza and resulted in Hamas eventually seizing control of that region.

    Should Israel again eschew the learned advice of its security experts, it will likely pay a heavy price in the court of international opinion and pave the way for militant elements in Iran to have their way in creating a nuclear arsenal.

  • Al Dorman says:

    So take Lippmann’s definition of an ‘expert’ — someone capable of articulating the consensus of people with power. Who’s running Israel? Or is Likud in a power struggle with the secular military?

  • mark says:

    bye bye bebe?

    • tps says:

      Doubt it. Latest polls say Likud will pick up a couple of seats and Labor would be up a few seats at the expense of Kadima. So the right wing would gain seats.

  • James Speaks says:

    Israel can’t afford a war on its own, and the US is too poor to bail them out.

  • If Netanyahu is “messianic”–and a worse sin for a man with his finger on the nuclear button is hard to imagine–and thus, as being portrayed by Dagan, Diskin, Olmert, and Gantz, a threat to Israeli national security, then he is obviously also a danger to U.S. national security.

    American politicians lusting for war against Iran can no longer pretend that they are demonstrating “friendship for Israel” by pursuing a policy that, according to much of the elite of Israeli national security thinkers, itself amounts to endangering Israeli national security.

    Instead, these American politicians need to respond directly to the charges being made by Dagan, Diskin, Olmert, and Gantz and show why these Israeli leaders are wrong…or stop
    threatening war against Iran.

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