Home > Diplomacy > Yediot’s Plocker: Thank you Mossad for removing Iranian bomb distraction. Can we move on now?

Yediot’s Plocker: Thank you Mossad for removing Iranian bomb distraction. Can we move on now?

Netanyahu and Dagan

On Sunday (January 9 2011), Yediot’s Itamar Eichner reported [emphasis mine; full translation here]:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is furious with outgoing Mossad Director Meir Dagan because of the briefing Dagan gave journalists last Thursday. In the course of that briefing, Dagan shared with the reporters the Mossad’s assessment that the Iranians would be unable to develop a nuclear bomb before 2015.

Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that Dagan’s statements infuriated Netanyahu, who advocates taking an aggressive approach vis-à-vis Iran. According to a high-ranking political official, Netanyahu reprimanded Dagan and said that his statements had undermined Israel’s efforts to fight against the Iranian nuclear program by means of the international community.

In an op-ed published on the same day, Sever Plocker, a senior editor at the paper, expresses wonder at the scant attention Dagan’s statement recieved [full translation and Hebrew original at the bottom of this post]:

One of the most historically important statements to have been made in the past ten years in the State of Israel made headlines in the Israeli media on Friday for a single day. It elicited a few reactions and a few brief analyses — and disappeared.

Plocker, hardly a knee-jerk leftist (see this recent critique of the Israeli left and the prospects for peace with the Palestinians, for example,) explains the drama [emphasis mine]:

Dagan, a suspicious super-cautious individual who routinely prefers to err on the side of pessimism…The Iranian nuclear threat died. It keeled over. Because, if the director of the State of Israel’s Mossad is prepared to risk saying that Iran won’t have even a single nuclear bomb “at least until 2015,” that means that Iran is not going to have a nuclear bomb. Period.

He also helps us understand Netanyahu’s is fury [emphasis mine]:

For more than a decade, Israel has been living under the thickening cloud of the Iranian nuclear bomb. The military, economic and even the social agendas in Israel have been directly influenced by it. The election of Netanyahu as prime minister (and Barak’s joining the coalition) were explained by the need to place at the head of the state and the security establishment people who would be capable of leading the people and the army in this decisive year in dealing with Iran. From time to time, in light of the foolish things that the two of them have done, public opinion was asked to be forgiving of them because of the weight of the Iranian threat that lay on their shoulders.

The op-ed ends with a call to move on:

Dagan’s statement about the lifting of the Iranian nuclear threat frees Israel from the clutches of a nightmare that we were either conscious of or not, but which cast a giant black shadow over all of us. Farewell, Iranian bomb. In your absence, the time has ripened to place other issues at the top of our agenda. And there is no lack of other issues.

Indeed, Israel’s diplomatic isolation and the rapid evaporation of what remains of its democracy would be a good place to start.

—-

The day there is no bomb

Op-ed, Sever Plocker, Yediot, January 9 2010 [Hebrew original here and at the bottom of this post]

One of the most historically important statements to have been made in the past ten years in the State of Israel made headlines in the Israeli media on Friday for a single day. It elicited a few reactions and a few brief analyses — and disappeared. The statement was ascribed to (and was not subsequently denied by) the outgoing Mossad director, Meir Dagan.

Dagan, a suspicious super-cautious individual who routinely prefers to err on the side of pessimism, was quoted as having said: “Iran will not have nuclear military capability at least until 2015.” The reason cited for this:  technical difficulties and malfunctions, which have stymied Tehran’s efforts to get its military nuclear program off the ground. For the sake of accuracy, and the Mossad relies on accuracy, the above-cited “technical difficulties and malfunctions” have already caused that initiative a few years’ worth of setbacks.

For more than a decade, Israel has been living under the thickening cloud of the Iranian nuclear bomb. The military, economic and even the social agendas in Israel have been directly influenced by it. The election of Netanyahu as prime minister (and Barak’s joining the coalition) were explained by the need to place at the head of the state and the security establishment people who would be capable of leading the people and the army in this decisive year in dealing with Iran. From time to time, in light of the foolish things that the two of them have done, public opinion was asked to be forgiving of them because of the weight of the Iranian threat that lay on their shoulders.

That was the case up until Friday, January 7, 2011. On that day, the world order was changed.  The Iranian nuclear threat died. It keeled over. Because, if the director of the State of Israel’s Mossad is prepared to risk saying that Iran won’t have even a single nuclear bomb “at least until 2015,” that means that Iran is not going to have a nuclear bomb. Period.

What happened? Only future generations will possibly know the answer to that. Until that happens, people are going to have to make do with legends. And the legends tell about unprecedented cooperation among the most secret branches of the most secret agencies in the world, with the goal of disrupting, delaying, sabotaging and destroying the Iranian nuclear program. The legends tell about nuclear scientists who either vanished or were disappeared, about raw materials that were either never delivered or were delivered contrary to the order placed, about electronic components and other pieces of equipment that fell apart at the critical moment of operation, about computer programs that were infected with lethal viruses and about the fear that has come to grip the entire nuclear community in the country called Iran.

That is what the legends tell. There are also facts. A symposium that was held last week in the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv University hosted dozens of experts, all of whom spoke in a uniform tone of voice and had identical news for us: the sanctions that the world imposed on Iran in response to UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which was passed in the spring of 2010 — economic, political, military and cultural sanctions — have dramatically weakened the Iranian regime and, for all intents and purposes, have forced the Iranian state to its knees. As a result, the Iranian military nuclear program has become an unbearably heavy burden for the Iranian economy and society to bear: its cost exceeds its benefits many times over, particularly since the “technical mishaps” have annulled most of the benefits.

The participants at the symposium said they anticipated that Iran would try to pretend in the near future that it was in the possession of a nuclear weapon, which it would be prepared not to use in return for a hefty price: the removal of all the sanctions and the restoration of the Islamic Republic to the family of nations. But its threats are idle threats. The bag with the bomb is just an empty bag, and the bomb is just a drawing on a piece of paper. There is no reason for the world to cut a deal with Ahmadinejad. There is good reason for making a deal, a deal of give and take, with his successors.

Dagan’s statement about the lifting of the Iranian nuclear threat frees Israel from the clutches of a nightmare that we were either conscious of or not, but which cast a giant black shadow over all of us. Farewell, Iranian bomb. In your absence, the time has ripened to place other issues at the top of our agenda. And there is no lack of other issues.

—–

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Categories: Diplomacy
  1. Ishmael
    January 10, 2011 at 21:23

    According to Israel, Iran has been 3 years from having a working nuke for the last, what, 20 years.

    Duke Nukem Forever!

  2. Danny Bin Ahsan
    January 10, 2011 at 22:53

    Surely good news? Peace and fellowship to all men. With Israel no longer facing an existential (imagined?) threat, it would be nice to see a refocusing of priorities on re-legitimising Israel.

  3. January 15, 2011 at 12:50

    thank you for sharing a nice article.

  4. David
    May 8, 2011 at 18:33

    Now it’s time for the israelis to get rid of their nukes. Before they blow up over their heads.

  1. January 11, 2011 at 07:27
  2. January 11, 2011 at 14:39
  3. January 12, 2011 at 01:02
  4. January 12, 2011 at 04:06
  5. February 19, 2011 at 04:39
  6. November 14, 2011 at 14:06

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