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Meir Dagan Photo: Yossi Zeliger, ShiloPro
Meir Dagan Photo: Yossi Zeliger, ShiloPro

Praying for Dagan

Op-ed: Many Israelis owe their lives to ailing ex-Mossad chief and those who served under him

Eitan Haber
Published: 10.17.12, 18:15 / Israel Opinion

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who is in intensive care after undergoing liver transplant in Belarus, is worthy of the prayers and gratitude of the entire Israeli nation.


This man, who has contributed to the country's security for almost his entire life, is admired by many people – leftists, rightists, religious and secular – but there were times when he was a considered a controversial figure, and until he was appointed head of the Israeli intelligence agency there were those who tried to prevent him from moving up in the ranks.


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But as soon as Arik Sharon appointed him Mossad chief, the argument over his personality and leadership all but ended. Dagan is Israel's no.1 man when it comes to its clandestine activity, and most of the operations under his command will remain unknown. He belongs to a group of people who did a lot and spoke little, and he has much to be proud of.


Mossad's operations have created a "security belt" for the citizens of Israel, and many Israelis owe their lives to Dagan and those who served under him in Mossad. Some of the operations that were carried out in foreign countries were revealed to the public not because Mossad was proud of them, but because there was no way of keeping them secret.


There were mishaps as well, but the bottom line is a success story that strengthened the State of Israel's security and took it to new heights. This is Meir Dagan, who looks and sounds Sephardic but was born Meir Huberman – more Polish than many true Poles.


After retiring from Mossad, Dagan, who served as an Armored Corps brigade commander during the first Lebanon war and the commander of the elite commando unit, caused a media uproar and drew harsh criticism.


But he was not deterred and continued to voice his opinion. If I were a religious man, I would not budge from the Western Wall's stones and ask God to shed his grace on someone who has done so much for the people of Israel.



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