Former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy warned against an Israeli strike on Iran, saying that the results of a confrontation could be devastating for the Mideast.
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The former head of the Israeli secret service said Thursday during an army boarding school reunion that while Iran should be prevented from becoming a nuclear power, its capabilities are still "far from posing an existential threat to Israel."
"The growing haredi radicalization poses a bigger risk than Ahmadinejad," Halevy said, adding that "the ultra-Orthodox extremism has darkened our lives."
Political-Security Cabinet member and Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias slammed Halevy for claiming that the "ultra-Orthodox radicalization" poses a bigger threat for Israel than a nuclear Iran.
"Halevy's statements are shocking and inciting and they divide the people of Israel at a time when it needs unity more than ever," Atias said, urging the former Israeli intelligence head to apologize.
The Shas minister claimed he had a hard time understanding "how a Jewish man, who was the head of the Mossad, expresses himself in such a shameful, untruthful and provocative manner against the Jewish public, whose only sin is keeping the Jewish people's heritage alive without enforcing it upon anyone."
This wasn't the first time that Halevy, who headed the Mossad between 1998-2002, expressed opposition to an attack on Iran. In 2008, he told Time Magazine that the measure should only be used as a last resort, as its effects could resonate in the region for a century.