Former Mossad chief calls for Netanyahu’s ouster in next elections

In an interview with Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Meir Dagan delivered a staunch critique of the prime minister

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A former head of the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, is calling voters to oust Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming general elections, as he accuses his Iran policies of endangering Israeli security.

In an interview with Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Meir Dagan delivered a staunch critique of the prime minister, describing his policies as “destructive to the future and security of Israel,” the Guardian reported.

Dagan is expected to address a rally in Tel Aviv where he will reiterate his call to get Netanyahu out of office.

“Our standing in the world is not brilliant right now,” he is quoted as saying.

“The question of Israel’s legitimacy is up for debate. We should not erode our relations with our most important friend.”

Netanyahu is travelling to Washington on Friday where he will address U.S. Congress following an invitation from Republican house speaker John Boehner, a move that has been shrugged by the White House and the Democrats. Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden said they would not be attending Netanyahu speech.

“I would not have confronted the United States and its president. Netanyahu may get applause in Congress, but all the power is in the White House. What will Netanyahu gain by addressing Congress? I just don’t understand it. Is his goal to get a standing ovation? This trip to Washington is doomed to failure,” Dagan said.

“As someone who has served Israel in various security capacities for 45 years, including during the country’s most difficult hours, I feel that we are now at a critical point regarding our existence and our security,” he told the Israeli daily.

While he insisted that he had no personal vendettas with Netanyahu, who the Guardian reported had helped him with a liver transplant, Dagan said: “I have no personal issue with the prime minister, his wife, his spending and the way he conducts himself. I’m talking about the country he leads.”

“An Israeli prime minister who clashes with the U.S. administration has to ask himself what the risks are. On the matter of settlements, there is no difference between the two [US] parties. And even so, they provide us with a veto umbrella. In a situation of a confrontation, this umbrella is liable to vanish, and within a short time, Israel could find itself facing international sanctions.

“The risks of such a clash are intolerable. We are already today paying a high price. Some of them I know and cannot elaborate.

As to Netanyahu’s repeated remarks on an attack on Iran, Dagan described the threat as “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

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