Controversial ex-Mossad director Meir Dagan dies in Tel Aviv

Meir DaganMeir Dagan, who directed the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad for a decade and emerged as a vocal critic of the Israeli government after his retirement, has died. A statement from his family said he died of liver cancer, a disease that prompted him to undergo a complex liver transplant operation in Belarus in 2012. But he suffered constant complications following his return to Israel, which led to his death on Thursday in Tel Aviv. Dagan was born Meir Hubermann in 1945 in Soviet Ukraine, and arrived with his family to Israeli in 1950. At age 18, he enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and saw action in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. In 2002, a few years after his retirement from the military with the rank of major general, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appointed him to direct the Mossad, Israel’s primary intelligence agency.

During Dagan’s tenure, which spanned the rule of three Israeli prime ministers, the Mossad focused intensely on combating the Iranian nuclear program, using a variety of means ranging from alleged assassinations of Iranian scientists to cyber sabotage of Iranian nuclear facilities. However, like many other senior Israeli intelligence commanders, Dagan was strongly opposed to plans by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to launch military strikes on Iran. Shortly after his retirement in 2011, Dagan spoke publicly against Netanyahu and senior members of his cabinet, including Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, who openly advocated the use of military force against Iran. In May 2011, Dagan condemned a possible Israeli attack on Iran as an act that would be “patently illegal under international law” and “the stupidest thing [he had] ever heard”. In June, hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu effectively stripped Dagan of his diplomatic passport, after the longtime Mossad Director called Israel’s leaders “reckless and irresponsible” people, who will not hesitate to engage in military adventurism in Iran to ensure their political primacy at home.

But Dagan continued to openly criticize the Israeli government, refusing to describe the Iranian nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel and calling instead for the establishment of a peace treaty with the Palestinians. He said in an interview in 2012 that, when he directed the Mossad, he could “block any perilous adventurism” in the Middle East; but after his retirement from the senior ranks of the agency, he feared that there was “no one to stop Barak and Bibi”, referring to Prime Minister Netanyahu by his nickname.

Dagan was 71. His burial took place on Sunday with full military honors in the town of Rosh Pina, in Israel’s northern district.

Author: Ian Allen | Date: 21 March 2016 | Permalink

4 Responses to Controversial ex-Mossad director Meir Dagan dies in Tel Aviv

  1. TFH says:

    This guy saw it up close, he was in the midst of it. Politicians like current prime minister of Israel are comfy in their homes, they do not have to worry about their children at war. Growing up as I was, fed on movies about the horrors the Jews had to face I and many others I think feel betrayed or duped when we learn about the actions of the Israeli Jews agains those they want to drive off their land.

  2. Lamento mucho la muerte de Dagan, todo un profesional de los Servicios Especiales y una de las mentes más claras dentro de cuál debe ser el papel de la política periférica del Estado de Israel en el Medio Oriente quien además se enfrento abiertamente, junto a otros altos funcionarios del Shin Bet y Aman en contra del oportunismo y aventurismo político de Bibi Netanyaju. Gracias, una vez más, a por sus trabajos de OSINT que nos mantiene constantemente informados sobre lo que acontece dentro del campo de los Servicios Especiales a nivel internacional.

  3. I very much regret the death of Dagan, a professional of Special Services and one of the clearest minds in what should be the role of peripheral policy of the State of Israel in the Middle East who also faced openly, along with other senior Shin Bet officials and Aman against political opportunism and adventurism of Bibi Netanyahu. And thanks, once again, to OSINT for his work keeps us constantly informed about what is happening in the field of special services internationally.

  4. TFH says:

    I concurr with José, Intelnews is doing a great public service.

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