By Middle East Affairs
In 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the Mossad and the military to attack Iran admitted a former chief spy. Mossad’s chief at the time, Tamir Pardo also revelated on the Israeli investigation show, Uvda that he had to check with top officials to see if the attack was legal.
On Uvda, Prime Minister Netanyahu orders Pardo chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz to prepare for an attack on Iran within 15 days of being given the order to do so.
The interview with reporter Ilana Dayan will be shown on Thursday.
The former Mossad chief said, “It’s not the sort of thing that you do just for practice.” There are typically two reasons to prepare for an attack, either to actually attack or to send a message.
He said, “It’s possible the United States would find out about the order one way or another and would be impelled to take action.
“So, if the prime minister tells you to start the countdown, you understand he’s not playing games,” Pardo said.
After Netanyahu gave his orders, the former chief researched whether Netanyahu really had the power to give such an order as it would most likely lead to war. By Israeli law, the cabinet is still required to give the approval to go to war.
In her interview, Dayan asks Pardo, “As far as you’re concerned, an attack in Iran is tantamount to deciding to go to war?” His response is, “Absolutely.”
After that Pardo got in touch with former heads of Mossad, legal advisers and everyone else who might possibly know so he could “understand who is authorized to give the order to go to war.”
At that moment, Prime Minister Netanyahu has heard of Pardo’s inquiries.
Pardo explains his reasons for why he felt the need to go to such measures when normally he is supposed to obey the prime minister’s orders, he says that he really had to make sure that such orders were legal.
When the head of Mossad and the army chief both showed reluctance to follow Netanyahu’s orders, that is when the Prime Minister showed restraint. If that hadn’t happened Pardo said that he had considered resigning.
“When the political echelon gives an order, you have two options. You can carry it out or quit,” Pardo says in the interview with Dayan, “I’m glad I didn’t have to reach the point of making that decision, not that I didn’t think about it,”
He served as head of the Israeli intelligence agency from 2011 to 2016.
Pardo and Gantz resistance to carry out the attack is largely responsible for why it never took place. In 2010 similar orders were given by Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the defense minister at the time to Meir Dagan and Gabi Ashkenazi.
The show Uvda exposed that in 2010 Israel’s prime minister had given orders to the defense to begin to prepare for “P-plus” alert status meaning an attack is possible. At the time Dagan and Ashkenazi had similar suspicions and believed that Netanyahu was trying to go around the legal system to get what he wanted.
According to the show Uvda, Dagan confronted Netanyahu and Barak and told them, “You could be making an illegal decision to go to war. Only the cabinet has that power.”