Bintel Blog

Ex-Mossad Chief: Israel Can’t Consummate Peace With Neighbors When Uncle Sam's in the Bed

By Daniel Treiman

The former head of Israel’s Mossad, Efraim Halevy, has some harsh words about American foreign policy in the cover story of the June issue of The Atlantic. The story, by journalist David Samuels, is a fascinating, in-depth exploration of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s ambitious effort to straighten up the mess that is the Middle East.

Halevy gives the writer a withering take on the administration’s democratization program:

“I used to deal with Condi when I was head of Mossad and she was national-security adviser, and I had a great respect for her, and admiration,” Halevy says. “I still do. But I think that in her role of secretary of state, things are not going too well. The main problem is that Condi Rice was never an expert on the Middle East. That’s not her area of expertise. And therefore, she has to rely on others. And the others in this case is a lawyer who is an ideologue” — meaning Elliott Abrams — “who believes that you can promote a certain ideology anywhere and everywhere around the world if you think it’s the right ideology. And you really don’t have to know very much about the basic facts in the region that you’re dealing with, because you have to tailor the region to your ideology.”

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