In a rare public expression of concern, Meir Dagan, head of Israel’s Mossad external security service, warned Tuesday, June 1, that the progressive decline of American strength over the past decade and the perception of the Obama administration as “soft on military options for solving disputes” have cut deep into Israel’s military and diplomatic maneuverability and made it fair game for its enemies.
This comment also placed him in the middle of the internal political debate in Israel. Whereas opposition factions maintain the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and other neighbours is stalled by Netanyahu’s allegedly hard-line positions, the Mossad chief puts it in a different perspective: Whatever the prime minister may do and whichever policy he may pursue, in Dagan’s view he is stuck with the endemic weakness stemming from American weakness and the Obama administration’s waning support for Israel.
He warned the lawmakers that the current US administration is in the process of making ofIsrael “a liability instead of an asset.” The US president, said the Mossad chief, seriously considered forcing Israel to accept a dictated peace formula. He only backed off when he saw that this tactic would not produce a peace accord. But that was “only a tactical retreat,” said Dagan.