Ehud Barak blasts the ‘Olmert Gang’ for blabbing about Iran

Ehud Barak blasts the ‘Olmert Gang’ for blabbing about Iran

Defense minister criticizes former prime minister and former heads of Mossad and Shin Bet for their public comments on Israeli strike

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak launched a blistering attack on former prime minister Ehud Olmert, former head of the Mossad Meir Dagan, and former head of the Shin Bet Yuval Diskin, saying their recent public comments only serve Iran’s interests.

In an interview to the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom published on Thursday, Barak attacked the three senior figures, whom he labeled “the Olmert Gang,” for their indiscretions in speaking out against an attack on Iran.

“It is not hard to see who it serves — Iran and the group that it leads,” Barak said. “They [the former Israeli officials] are running around the world saying things that are weakening the not insignificant Israeli achievements of making Iran an important and pressing matter, not just for Israel but for the whole world.”

“There are things that you can’t discuss out in the open without damaging the subject itself,” he said.

All three of the former officials have stated their opposition to a strike on Iran. Diskin attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu and Barak’s leadership, claiming they were misleading the public, while Olmert recently stated that the time was not right for an attack against Tehran’s nuclear sites.

In a March interview with CBS’s ’60 Minutes,’ Dagan suggested using other methods to halt the Iranian efforts at achieving a nuclear bomb.

Barak singled out Diskin, who led the internal security services, for commenting on matters that are “not his specialty or responsibility.”

“The government needs to make the decisions,” Barak continued. “The accepted norm of discretion by people who work intimately with the prime minister and defense minister has been broken.”

In a thinly veiled snipe at the political machinations of the three men, Barak criticized them for their activities since leaving office. You start to see differences between the way people behave when interested in extending their terms in office and the way they behave afterwards, he said, and suggested extending the time period before outgoing high-ranking security and defense officials can take up government positions.


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