Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan continues to attack the Israeli government’s policies, saying on Monday it was time for Israel to stop criticizing the United States over the nuclear deal with Iran.
Speaking at the International Institute for Counterterrorism's annual conference in the city of Herzliya and quoted by The Associated Press (AP), Dagan said, "The problem is Iran, not President [Barack] Obama."
Dagan said Israel made a "strategic decision" to adopt a policy against the United States and "it is time to end it."
Since leaving his post as head of the Mossad, Dagan has continuously verbally attacked Netanyahu and his policies. One such attack came after it was announced that Netanyahu had accepted an invitation to address Congress.
Dagan said then that Netanyahu and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett "are leading us to a binational state which is a disaster and dangerous to Zionism”, adding, “The policies that they are leading are going in very problematic directions both in the field of the Palestinian problem as well as in our relations with our great friend, the United States. I admit that I am concerned.”
Last year Dagan declared, contrary to Netanyahu’s statements, that Israel could survive without maintaining a presence in the Jordan Valley. Other experts have warned that Israel’s presence in the area is crucial.
He later dismissed Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinian Authority (PA) recognize Israel as a Jewish state as “nonsense”.
He previously said he does not believe a nuclear Iran would be an existential threat to Israel and also said the Netanyahu government’s policies on Iran are irresponsible, publicly warning against attacking Iran.
The Likud has fired back at Dagan’s criticism by branding him a leftist and pointing out that he wanted to extend his tenure as head of the Mossad when he served under Netanyahu.
Netanyahu has been a vocal critic of the Iran deal, which has put him at odds with President Obama and his administration.
Obama, however, has dismissed the tension with Netanyahu. In a recent webcast in which he addressed the heads of Jewish communities in North America, the president said that “we’ve repeatedly had times where the administration and the Israeli government had disagreements. That doesn’t affect the core commitments we have for each other.”