Israel's Establishment Speaks Out on Iran

Insiders Divided Like Never Before Over Looming War

By J.J. Goldberg and Ben Lynfield

Published August 26, 2012, issue of August 31, 2012.
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Against

Yuval Diskin

Former chief of Shin Bet

What he said and where

Told residents of Kfar Sava on April 27 that he does not trust the judgment of Prime Minister Netanyahu or Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

What it means

Believes an Israeli strike is liable to accelerate Iran’s nuclear program rather than eliminate it.

“I don’t believe in either the prime minister or the defense minister. I don’t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings.”


Uzi Even

Former senior scientist in Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program.

What he said and where

On August 19, called for Israel to propose closing its Dimona nuclear reactor in exchange for the halting of Iran’s nuclear program.

What it means

Believes Iran’s nuclear facilities are dispersed and buried, and that a strike could touch off a war of attrition, lasting years. Has also said that Dimona is an old facility, and warned of a danger of a mishap there in any event.

“No one in the world believes Israel will be empty-handed against a nuclear Iran.”


Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz

Benny Gantz

Current IDF chief of staff

What he said and where

In an April 25 Haaretz interview, voiced doubt that Iran would finalize development of nuclear bomb; said Israel preparing to attack, if necessary.

What it means

Doubts Iran’s leaders prepared to incur international consequences of developing a nuclear bomb.

“I don’t think [Iranian Supreme leader Ali Khamenei] will want to go the extra mile…. The Iranian leadership is [composed] of very rational people.’’


Ephraim Halevy

Former head of the Mossad

What he said and where

Said in Channel Two interview on August 4 that Israel should not launch a unilateral strike.

What it means

Believes external support is crucial for success.

“It would not be desirable for Israel to act alone.”’


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