Did the Israeli Military Defy PM Netanyahu to Prepare for Attack on Iran in 2010?
[gigya src=”http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed_edition&videoId=international/2012/11/09/exp-israel-netanyahu-amanpour.cnn” width=”416″ height=”374″ quality=”high” wmode=”transparent” allowFullScreen=”true” ]
- Did the Israeli military defy PM Netanyahu?
By Samuel Burke, www.CNN.com
A sensational story is rocking Israel this week – alleging that the Israeli military defied orders from its commander in chief, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Leading Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan is reporting that Netanyahu ordered his military to prepare for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities nearly two years ago. Dayan’s story documents that both the army chief and the head of Mossad (Israeli intelligence) refused to comply with Netanyahu’s order.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Thursday, Dayan said the information came from officials who were in the room with Netanyahu when the conversations took place, during a meeting of Israeli ministers.
“It happened in the course of 2010 and all of a sudden, just when they are at the door, the chief of staff [of the Israel Defense Forces], then Gabi Ashkenazi, and the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, are given an order by the Prime Minister Netanyahu to step into a pre-attack alert and be ready to strike in Iran.”
Dayan told Amanpour that she believes this is the closest Israel has ever come to striking Iran, but the dramatic rift between the military and political establishments stopped it.
“You have on the one side Prime Minister Netanyahu with a deep conviction…. And on the other hand, you have the chief of staff and the head of Mossad who very courageously set off the alarms and say, ‘Guys, this is not the right thing to do now. And if we step into this pre-attack alert, this is noisy; this can lock us into war.’”
Also speaking with Amanpour on Thursday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, would neither confirm nor deny some parts of Dayan’s report. While Ayalon implied there was not an order from Prime Minister Netanyahu, he did allude to disagreements between Netanyahu and the military.
“Israel is a democracy. And although we have very opinionated high brass…we’re very proud that they can very freely actually give their opinions,” Ayalon said. “But at the end of the day, it’s the commander in chief… to make the decisions. But the very fact that nothing happened means that the commander in chief in Israel did not give the order.”
“Iran doesn’t frighten me and I don’t think it should frighten the American people. They don’t have a bomb. They haven’t made a decision to build one. They don’t have the means to deliver one. And the Israelis have 300 atomic bombs! I mean who presents the existential threat to whom?” – Pat Buchanan (7:58 onwards)