London-born Gen. Efraim Halevy 78, has served as head of Israeli Mossad under three Zionist prime ministers and negotiated peace treaty with late King Hussein of Jordan in 1994. He also served as Israel’s national security advisor and ambassador to European Union in the late 1990s.
Since 2011, Halevy have spoken out against war with the Islamic Republic which he believes will turn into “a generation-long war”. In an interview he gave to Israeli daily Ha’aretz in September 2012, he said: “I do indeed argue that a nuclear Iran does not constitute an existential threat to Israel. If one day we wake up and discover that Iran has nuclear weapons, that doesn’t mean the start of countdown to the end of Israel’s existence. Israel need not despair. We have deterrent capability (240-400 nuclear bombs). If Iran aquires nuclear weapons, Israel will be able to design a true operational response that will be able to cope with Iranian threat.“
Last October, Halevy told Laura Rozen that Tel Aviv and Washington must engage in dialogue with Tehran to understand how their “adversaries” think. During the interview, Halvey criticized Mitt Romney for making Iran an election issue. He blamed Romney for “throwing Israel under the bus” in an Op-Ed in the New York Times.
This week, Halevy was in New York where he gave an interview to The Jewish Week, published on January 30, 2013. During the interview, Halevy claimed that the West is fighting WW III against “Radical Islam“ which would take another 25 years for the West to win. He also said that while Islamic Iran is a “formidable enemy”, it doesn’t represent “an existential threat” to Israel; and that “the growing religious radicalization” in Israeli society “poses a greater threat than Ahmadinejad”.
Halevy, who was born to an Orthodox Jewish parents and studied at Orthodox school in Israel, noted with dismay how Jewish Orthodoxy has moved to extreme (being racist toward fellow Jews) in Israel – speculating that with the continued growth of non-Zionist Orthodox (Haredi) communities, Zionists “could become a minority in Israel even without the Arabs”.
Halevy believes it’s wrong to tell Iran that it has the capability to destroy Israel. “It’s wrong to tell your enemy he has the power to destroy you. Don’t test him,” he said.
Halevy believes Israel should encourage negotiations between Washington and Tehran, and that there is a chance Iran will “stop short if faced by a united front on the nuclear issue”. He said it’s a big mistake for Israel to personalize the situation and was emphatic in asserting that Washington will never sell Israel out.
He said that economic sanctions against Iran have started hurting Iranians and, possibly, it could bring a regime change from within.
Ex-Mossad Head: Jewish radicalization will destroy Israel | Rehmat's World