What Do Israel’s Leaders Really Think About Iran?

Israel bombing Iran could, indeed, be a spectacularly stupid idea, but does the Israeli public really need to hear that? That not-in-front-of-the-kids message seemed to be the gist of Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak’s criticism of Meir Dagan, recently retired head of the Mossad intelligence agency, who last week warned publicly that the idea of Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities was “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”. Barak on Monday expressed doubt about the veracity of Dagan’s reported remarks (although the man himself hasn’t yet contested them), but added, “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.”

Two of Dagan’s predecessors in the Mossad job didn’t agree, and raced to endorse Dagan’s view — and also his right to open such a potentially cataclysmic question for public discussion. Dagan had previously annoyed his boss by making public his assessment, on his last day at the Mossad, that Iran would >>>

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