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Former Agent Blasts Israeli Leaders: Yuval Diskin Criticises Netanyahu, Barak's Policies

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Published on Apr 30, 2012

The Israeli government has reacted to remarks by Israel's former spy chief Yuval Diskin, who blasted the country's leaders for formulating and pursuing policies on Iran on the basis of what he described as "messianic feelings".

Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau: "In a democracy you always have differences of opinions, and you have different leaders having different approaches. Now, it is the political leadership not the professional military leadership that decides on these things. This is in any democracy. That's why I was so much surprised by the open manner by which people from the military establishment are carrying out a professional debate that should be handled within the proper forums."

Government officials said Benjamin Netanyahu was constantly working to form an international front for the struggle against Iran, and described Diskin's words as irresponsible and a shame. Diskin was referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who have threatened to launch a pre-emptive war on Iran because of its nuclear programme. Other security veterans have come out against Netanyahu and Barak, but Diskin's criticism was especially strong.

Israel's former spy chief Yuval Diskin: "I will tell you things that will be, perhaps, harsh. I have no faith in the prime minister, nor in the defence minister. I really don't have faith in a leadership that makes decisions out of messianic feelings."

Diskin said that he was not necessarily opposed to Israel attacking Iran's nuclear sites pre-emptively. But he said Netanyahu was not up to the task of going to war as a second-term premier, and nor was Ehud Barak, despite being the country's most decorated soldier. Diskin's remarks came days after Israel's military chief, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, said Iran was "very rational" and unlikely to build a bomb in the face of world opposition, apparently undermining the case for a strike.

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