Dagan for P.M.
Who’d a thunk it? A man I reviled in the aftermath of the al-Mabouh assassination is actually talking sense and looking smarter by the day. In fact, every time he opens his mouth he only reminds Israelis (at least those not in the Likud) about the lameness of their current prime minister.
Aluf Benn today writes that Dagan is setting himself up, whether intentionally or not, to be a key political leader of the opposition come the next election:
Meir Dagan’s public warnings that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leading Israel into disaster places the former Mossad chief in a new role – head of the opposition. After two years of the prime minister’s complete control over the political message coming out of Jerusalem, there is finally someone who is standing up and warning the public of the risks inherent in a leadership that “is absent of vision and responsibility.”
This sums up Dagan’s general political philosophy and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the ideological extremism of the man currently inhabiting the office of prime minister:
Dagan’s message during a speech Wednesday at Tel Aviv University can be summed up in a single phrase – “military restraint and political initiative.” In Dagan’s view, Israel must not attack Iran, and it must accept the Arab peace initiative
It’s about time an Israeli politician returned to a pragmatic approach to solving the nation’s problems. Of course, it’s easy for someone out of power, someone not even officially affililated with a party, to sound so reasonable. When running for office, politicians tend to return to the same old shibboleths that appeal to the electorate. During campaigns, pragmatism isn’t very popular. So it remains to be seen whether this is as a good as it gets; or whether Dagan will stay true to the ideas he’s espousing as he gets into the fray of political combat.
You know Bibi isn’t going to take this lying down. He’s going to bare his fists and lash out with all the nationalist provocation he can muster. Dagan will be hard-pressed not to respond in kind and stoop as low as his former-bloss. So we’ll see how things develop. But I like what I’m hearing–now.
This of course doesn’t flatter Tzippi Livni, who is the nominal, but largely ineffectual head of the leading opposition party, Kadima.
24 thoughts on “Dagan for P.M. – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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You actually believe him? It’s all an act.
I’m not sure I believe him. But Sharon was his teacher and while I hated Sharon too, I have to admit he was a master. I think things might’ve been diff. had Sharon lived. Though who knows. Couldn’t be much worse than they were under Olmert & esp. Bibi.
Off topic, LOL
Is he dead? I thought he was vegetatin’.
He’s giving Bibi some space to maneuver backwards. He’s had the threats dialed up to 9 or 10 his whole term, and now with the exposure of trading of nuts, boats, and oil and such he has to climb down off that cliff.
It is of course fascinating to speculate on the timing of Dagan’s comments. It is feasible that this is what is called in Hebrew הפוך על הפוך – an inversion of an inverted policy, where Dagan’s comments will give the Iranian’s a moment of pause and perhaps lull them into a feeling of security – not that self-confidence is one of their weak points. I find this possibility faintly more plausible than Dagan sounding off in this fashion as a clumsy way of announcing his candidacy for PM. I believe that most Israeli’s are uncomfortable with politicians who talk out of school
Its not so strange. As in the US its the leadership within the ‘national security state’ that’s often far more rational regarding foreign policy than the elites in either the democrat or republican parties.
Dagan, due to his trade craft has a better view of the terrain as it endlessly morphs and changes under Israel’s feet. He knows Netanyahu’s NO’s were non starters even before that fool opened its mouth.
Whether a two state option is dead or not is difficult to tell, but Dagan also realizes without one a Jewish home in Palestine will not endure. The big question is whether rational Israelis can reverse the suicidal radicalism mutating in the Israeli body politic.
Does Dagan mean it? Well, who knows. If he does mean it, it breaks the mold whereby ONLY past-PMs can talk “peace” and present-PMs must talk “war”, “strength”, “punish them”.
It breaks the mold because he vaguely pushes political buttons, unlike Jimmy Carter, a past-president who talks “peace” but who evidently has no aspiration again to lead.
Israelis are sick of these “security people” who go into politics and are then completely out of their depth. It’s like saying a good garage mechanic should be Prime Minister because if he knows how a car runs, he should be able to understand how a country runs. The “generals” who became Prime Ministers were uniformly a disaster in power. Ordering people in army to do things does not teach one how to influence free people in politics.
I recall how in 1999, Barak in his election campaign bragged how he had an advisory council of IIRC NINE generals who were going to advise him. His reign led to the worst terrorist violence in Israel’s history. Dagan would be a disaster in politics. He would be elbowing Dichter, Halutz, Mofaz, Peri all of whom are prima donnas and failures in politics.
I pray this dangerous man stays out of politics.
Maybe we’re sick of settlerists who substitute their own judgments & opinions for that of “Israelis,” as if your extremist ideas represented the norm, when they don’t. Ariel Sharon was Dagan’s mentor. Whatever you wish to say about Sharon, you can’t deny that he was a masterful politician. His political “smarts” surely rubbed off on Dagan. Oh, but I forgot. You hate Sharon because of the Gaza withdrawal. So of course he was a disaster despite the fact that 98% of Israelis would have him back in a second over the current mediocrity sitting in the PM’s office.
But really what you’re saying is that you don’t like what Dagan has said, so that somehow makes him “out of his depth.”
Given that Dagan is commenting on political issues with strong security dimensions, & his job till recently was protecting the nation’s security, saying that he’s “out of his depth” speaks much more to yr prejudices than his abilities.
No, given Dagan’s decades of service in the IDF & Mossad, it’s much more like saying a good mechanic who worked his way up the ranks of Fiat should become the CEO. Or like saying a seasoned IDF officer much decorated and skilled in battle should, after retiring become P.M. (as Sharon did).
I pray the rest of Israel takes yr views as seriously as most of us do here.
I’m shocked by this reply and your defence of Sharon.
Sharon is a convicted war criminal who was personally responsible for the death of hundreds of civilians in Sabra and Shatila. This “practical man” also led Israel to a futile war in Lebanon which cost thousands of lives over the years.
What Sharon did in Gaza was a dangerous precedent which directly led to the siege and the humanitarian crisis there. Is this is the kind of political “smarts” you appreciate?
I don’t know what are the political views of Bar Kochva, but I agree with the sentiment completely – we are sick and tired of generals who know better.
If he’s such a smart person, how come the organization he led got us into trouble with friendly countries like New Zealand and UK (friendly is debatable, but still…). We’ve seen enough of his work, let him contribute his failures to some business tycoon and leave politics alone.
Richard, are you giving up on the idea of there ever being a political Left in Israel — or even a political centre? Can’t say as I blame you, as my own prediction is that Avigdor will succeed Bibi as PM.
At the heart of the “Israeli problem” is its military extremism, and perhaps Dagan realizes that. After all, it’s no longer a joke that Israel, unlike a state with an army, is an army with a state.
The left appears quite dead in Israel except for Hadash, which only has a Jewish following among the young.
Too bad he doesn’t have a son named Doug.
It reminds of of the Hebrew word for cherry, duvdevan. Sorry, but I had to do this: if the gay couple Dov Devan and Doug Dagan married they’d be Dov & Doug Devan-Dagan. [cringe!]
If this guy was really serious and thought Bibi was that nuts — then he would be telling the world that the IAEA should be going into Israel right now to see who’s looking after their “Nukes!”
I’m basing my comments on the shill ETHAN BRONNER piece in the NY Times. The “mad-man” meme can work both ways! Interesting that instead of Ahmadinejad threatening the World we now have Netanyahu (who does control weapons of mass-destruction). So, when a credible ex-Mossad boss says he can’t sleep at night because there are mad-man at the helm — shouldn’t the US and CONGRESS be doing something about it????
NYTIMES: “I decided to speak out because when I was in office, Diskin, Ashkenazi and I could block any dangerous adventure,” he was quoted as saying. “Now I am afraid that there is no one to stop Bibi and Barak,” he added, using Mr. Netanyahu’s nickname.
“It’s not the Iranians or the Palestinians who are keeping Dagan awake at night but Israel’s leadership,” asserted Ari Shavit on the front page of Friday’s Haaretz newspaper. “He does not trust the judgment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.”
“Dagan is really worried about September,” Mr. Shavit said in a telephone interview, referring to the date when the Palestinians are expected to ask the United Nations General Assembly to recognize their state within the 1967 lines. The resolution is expected to pass and to bring new forms of international pressure on Israel. “He is afraid that Israel’s isolation will cause its leaders to take reckless action against Iran.”
What’s important is that men like Diskin, Ashkenazi, Dagan and others of sound reputation, experience and high regard are speaking out. The code of silence is being breached and what these men have to say is shaking “the political establishment.”
Such revelations public or private prove the Israeli establishment are not all in lockstep with the Netanyahu/Lieberman pathology. There’s serious disagreement regarding Israel’s security and means of achieving it, and that’s a good thing.
This again proves my article that the zionist assassins mostly become the top leaders of the zionist entity…. and the zionist leaders are mostly x-assassins @ :
I undetstand the pain, anger & injustice that fuel that statement, but there are assassins on both sides of this conflict. Perhaps more & “better” on the Israeli side but nevertheless…
Barakalawfik, ya Sami
I took a look at your website. Your article on the Carmel fire is great. I’ll sure get back when I have more time, and I hope some of the Israelis around here would too. Many of them ‘just know Arabs’ …
i wonder what arafat, haniyah and all palestinian formed parliment are , if not ,as you put it “assassins”, you need to know whats at stake first hand ,before you will be able to make any compromises .it works both sides samii…
If members of the Palestinian parliament are “assassins” what does that make Israeli MKs??
I actually stumbled across this thread. I seem to be the only one in the thread who actually lives in Israel and has a different perspective from some of the other participants in this discussion.
I would like to make a couple of points.
The notion that Israel’s existence depends on a Palestine state is ludicrous. We welcome peace with our neighbors but Israel’s accomplishments in science, medicine, technology, music and the arts and Jewish studies are orthogonal to Arab terror.
If there is an “Israeli problem” it is certainly not military extremism, As an American living here for over 30 years – I find the US far more militaristic and serving in reserve duty for over 25 years does not make me a militarist. If you used that measure – you would have to call Switzerland an extremist militaristic state.
If there is an Israeli problem – it is not being true enough to basic Jewish values.