Israeli media are reporting widespread opposition to an Israeli attack on Iranfrom within the highest levels of the Israeli national security elite. Indeed, Netanyahu’s warmongering has been so damaged by Israeli military-intelligence opposition that he is now trying to muzzle his opposition within his own regime. Democracy in Israel, it seems, allows public calls by officials for war but not public calls by officials for peace.
Former IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General (res.) Dan Halutz said, according to Israeli media
Iran poses a serious threat, but not an existential one. The use of this terminology is misleading. If it is intended to encourage a strike on Iran, it’s a mistake. Force should be exerted only as a last resort.
Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shachak has also just voiced his concern in an interview with a British newspaper clearly designed to be heard in Washington, where deafness has reached scandalous levels. He pointedly warned that the Israeli security establishment is not adequately prepared for the day after such an attack. [The Independent.]
He also stated:
It is quite clear that much if not all of the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] leadership do not support military action at this point.
High-level Israeli military officials are now thus publicly supporting the views of such intelligence officials as ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who has repeatedly voiced outspoken opposition to an Israeli attack since his recent retirement. Campaigning for Israeli political reform, Dagan recently warned
We must demand that when the prime minister is making fateful strategic decisions, such as action against Iran, he will not give in to or have his hand forced by political pressure.
Netanyahu, in a curiously slangy tone
for such a deadly topic, is reported to have told these officials: “Stop blabbing, already [sic]. This chit-chat causes huge damage, puts Israel on the front line, and undermines sanctions.”
With ambitious politicians playing dangerous games that coincidentally aid their careers, the danger of a widespread and uncontrollable conflagration cannot lightly be dismissed.