Controversy Flares Again Over Kohavi Remarks

YERUSHALAYIM -
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. (Flash90)

The head of the Mossad reportedly criticized remarks made by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi which warned the Biden administration not to return to the Iran nuclear deal, and said the IDF was drafting new plans for action against Tehran

In private conversations, Mossad head Yossi Cohen reportedly called Kohavi’s speech “irresponsible,” saying that he should have waited to see how the new administration acts before commenting.

Cohen said that Kohavi had acted on his own, countering suggestions in the media that he would not have spoken out without first clearing it with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏.

In response, a defense source told Army Radio on Sunday: “It is a shame that there is in the defense establishment someone who chooses to publicly defame the chief of staff.”

“The chief of staff made his position known to the Israeli public and is not required to update the head of the Mossad before he speaks,” the source said. “The Iranian issue doesn’t belong to Yossi Cohen and even if there are differences of opinion it is better that they stay behind closed doors.”

Last week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the IDF chief’s opinions on diplomatic and national security affairs should be confined to behind-closed-doors meetings.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ did not comment directly on the matter, but did reiterate his position on Iran, which aligns with Kohavi’s.