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Israeli intelligence officer contradicts Netanyahu on Iranian nukes, existential threats, Palestinian violence

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Last week I said I’d pass along more insights from “Captain Nativ” — the chief of an intelligence section in the “central command” of the Israeli army– who made a tour of American Jewish audiences.

I caught Nativ’s speech to a synagogue on the Upper West Side (after earlier performances with rightwing Zionist groups including the Conference of Presidents); and the intelligence officer contradicted the Israeli prime minister on a number of questions. He said the Iran deal was a good thing for Israel for the “near future” because it removes any possibility of Iranian nukes; he suggested that Palestinians would end terrorist attacks if they had a state; and he said that Israel has no “existential” threats– and not a word about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Oh and life in the Israeli settlements is dangerous.

Here are the soundbites in which the young Captain expressed different opinions from the prime minister:

No existential threat.

If you think, 30, 40 years ago we really had a threat to our existence, with the Egyptians, the Syrians. These days we don’t have any threats to our existence. We do have threats of mainly terror threats on our borders, but we dont have any threats to our existence.

The benefits of the Iran deal:

We see a fundamental change in the nuclear challenge from Iran. In the next few years we understand that we don’t really have any threat from Iran because of the deal, I will say from this period to five years from now. The thing is that as an intelligence agency in Israel, we don’t really know to predict what will happen in five years or ten years. This is a really long time, unless we know what will happen in Iran, whether Iran will want to have a nuclear program again. So in the long run we can’t really say that it is a good deal or a bad deal. But we can say for the next few years, for the near future we won’t have any nuclear challenge, so for that, that’s is good.

The bad part is that Iran will get lots of money because of the deal [and] Iran is one of the biggest supporters of terrorism in the region.

On Palestinian terror.

Actually lots of people ask me variations of that question [If the occupation ends, won’t terrorism?]. So what I will say is as of the intelligence perspective, I can assure you that even if we will have an agreement with the Palestinians it won’t change anything with Iran, Hezbollah, and they will still want to hurt us and hurt western interests. So maybe if we will have peace with the Palestinians, we won’t have to deal with Palestinian terror. That makes sense…. [But] it won’t change anything from where we live: Iranians are really seeking daily, I know that for a fact, how to harm us. That won’t change.

The danger of the settlements.

It’s risky to go over there in the settlements. Whenever I go there I have to go with a weapon, because it is risky.


Oh and here’s something else Nativ said, about the likelihood of another war in Gaza.

Gaza is in really bad shape after the last war in Gaza…. The people of Gaza have a really miserable life right now under the control of Hamas. We think that it is really possible that we will have another war against Gaza, because the people in Gaza are really frustrated, they have to let their anger go against someone, and Hamas is not helping them, so maybe Hamas–their best way out because of that is just fighting against Israel.


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