Meir Dagan. Concerned
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Mossad chief Meir Dagan is concerned by the change in US positions and influence on Israel. "There are fewer Israeli assets in the US," he said in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on Tuesday. "Israel's importance was greater when there was conflict between the blocs, while this year there has been a decrease (in Israel's importance)."
Dagan gave an overview of the situation to MKs and noted, "If in the 90s the US was a 'global policeman,' a power that could solve conflicts, in the first decade of the millennium the US's power to solve conflicts is limited. The election of (US President Barack) Obama was a declaration that it was adopting a softer approach and did not want to use force to solve conflicts. It has been viewed as weakness and influences Israel's difficulty in diplomatic maneuvers."
Roni Sofer, agencies
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According to Dagan, the US ability to create processes of change is limited.
"It is possible to see that during the last few years there has been less cooperation in the political arena between Israel and the US," he said. "The current administration certainly thinks that Israel's handling of the Palestinian issue does not suit the present US approach, which says the solution to the conflict must be according to the Clinton vision, within the 67 borders."
Answering a question about the possibility of an imposed solution, raised by rightwing MKs, Dagan said that such a solution has already arisen between Israel and the US, but then disappeared.
"But we must take future steps into account, particularly after the mid-term Congress elections," he warned. "An imposed solution will be a last option and not the preferred option – but this option exists and is used as a whip to goad the two sides. Events such as (the lethal flotilla affair) are likely to go out of control and the situation could deteriorate to extreme scenarios."
Dagan also referred to the Iranian nuclear threat. "Iran's willingness to agree to the Brazil and Turkey deal (to transfer uranium for enrichment) is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, intended to divide the international community at the last minute, with the aim of avoiding or postponing sanctions in the UN Security Council."
The Mossad chief noted that the Congress elections in July will influence the Iran decision.
"Iran is progressing with the latest centrifuges, but are encountering unexpected technological difficulties," he said. "They are not progressing as they would like, and this certainly influences the length of time required to achieve their aim." He added, "Achieving their aim of nuclear capabilities will prevent any future threat against the regime."
Amnon Meranda contributed to this report