By Guy Azriel
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak lashed out against former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and two former heads of Israeli security services who publicly criticized the policy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government on Iran.
In excerpts of an interview published last week, Barak told the Israeli daily Israel Hayom that Olmert, together with Meir Dagan, former head of the Israeli Mossad, and former head of internal security Yuval Diskin, were working for the benefit of the Iranian government.
"It isn't hard to see who does this serve," Barak said.
Barak expressed anger over what he sees as efforts to derail the government's campaign to increase international pressure on the Iranian regime to suspend its nuclear ambitions.
"They travel around the world and make comments that weaken the considerable achievements of the Israeli policy, in which we have turned the Iranian issue into an urgent and important matter not just for Israel but for the entire world," Barak said.
Israel views Iran's nuclear program as an imminent and urgent threat and has said that all options, including military action, are on the table if the program isn't stopped.
Last week, Diskin referred to Barak and Netanyahu as relying on "messianic impulses" and criticized the idea of an Israeli preemptive strike.
"Many experts have been saying throughout the years that one of the consequences of an Israeli attack in Iran could be a dramatic acceleration in its nuclear program" Diskin said.
Dagan, a frequent and vocal critic of talk about an Israeli strike on Iran, referred to the plan as a "stupid idea."
Olmert entered the fray recently when he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour he was "worried" that a preemptive attack on Iran could be a "terrible, terrible mistake for the security and the well-being of Israel."
Speaking of Netanyahu and Barak, Olmert said, "You have to have full trust in the judgment of those who have to make decisions. And you could understand from what I said that maybe something in my trust is lacking." When asked whether he doesn't have full trust (in the Netanyahu government), Olmert said: "Apparently."
"Certain issues cannot be discussed publicly without causing immediate damage," said Barak. "In Britain, there is a saying 'it's not done.' It is the government who needs to make the decisions."