An embarrassing confrontation broke out on Sunday during a panel discussion at a New York conference, when former Mossad chief Meir Dagan accused Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan of lying, while Erdan replied that Dagan is sabotaging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to put a halt to Iran’s nuclear aspirations.
At the conference, sponsored by the Jerusalem Post in New York, the two also exchanged harsh words after Dagan warned Erdan over the so-called “Dagan law,” forbidding former security officials to issue open statements until a certain cooling period wears off.
“As in (a journey), you know where you begin but you don’t know where you end,” Dagan told the audience.
The exchange erupted after Dagan was asked about statements made by former head of the Shin Bet security service Yuval Diskin. Diskin criticized Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Friday over their bellicose stance on Iran, as well as what he called the premier’s unwillingness to advance peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Dagan said that Diskin was his friend, and added that he “spoke his own truth.” “Diskin is a very serious man, a very talented man, he has a lot of experience in countering terrorism,” he said, adding that he “talked about a matter that is close to his heart.” Dagan also dismissed criticism of Diskin for not voicing his opinion to Netanyahu and Barak earlier. According to Dagan, Diskin had done so “in close quarters and on many occasions.”
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