A heated debate at the recent Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York highlighted that back in 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently ordered Israel’s defense establishment to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, or to prepare to do so.
During the discussion, Post columnist Caroline Glick accused fellow panelists former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi of refusing Netanyahu’s orders during their respective tenures.
“In 2010, according to a report from 2012 on the Israeli news program Uvda, we learned that two of the gentlemen on this panel were given an order to prepare the military for an imminent strike against Iran’s military installations and they refused,” charged Glick.
The popular columnist was adamant that had Dagan and Ashkenazi gone along with Netanyahu’s policies, the region and the world would not today be facing the specter of a nuclear Iran.
Dagan responded that he had rebuffed Netanyahu “because it was an illegal order.” Earlier in the debate, he had suggested that a firm order was never given: “We were always willing to obey any legal order by the prime minister. We never refused an order.”
In a subsequent interview with Israel’s Channel 10, Dagan explained that Netanyahu had indeed told himself and Ashkenazi to prepare the IDF to strike, but had backed down after realizing that doing so would put Israel on a slippery slope toward regional war.
Also speaking at the Jerusalem Post event was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who lamented that with the Obama Administration now racing toward an ill-advised agreement with Tehran, a nuclear-armed Iran seems inevitable.
“We went through these negotiations with Iran in the earlier part of this decade, and they cheated for three years and were caught three times cheating,” Giuliani noted. “There is no reason for Iran to have peaceful use of nuclear power, they have plenty of energy. You have to be naive to think they want nuclear power for peaceful uses.”