Meir Dagan
Meir Dagan Israel news photo: Flash 90

Former Mossad head Meir Dagan came out Sunday with a statement of support for successor Yuval Diskin. Diskin was roundly criticized Sunday for calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak “messianic” and suggesting that social protests in Israel be modeled on riots in Egypt.

Diskin “is a good young man, he is serious and he expresses his truth,” Dagan said, speaking at a Jerusalem Post conference in New York.

Diskin was accused of inciting to violence. In addition, some accused him of leaking classified information in his statements on Iran.

Diskin told the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot that he has no regrets. “I do not regret a single word of what I said Friday. I think things are even more serious [than what was said], and when the day comes I will say even more extreme things about the state of leadership in Israel,” he declared.

Sources close to Netanyahu had said that Diskin’s criticism of the Prime Minister stemmed from frustration at not being appointed to head the Mossad. Diskin denied the claim.

“After five years heading the Shin Bet I asked to resign… It was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who asked me to stay for a sixth year,” he argued. “We held several meetings about it, and Netanyahu explained to me how important it was for me to stay on the job because it was expected to be a ‘fateful year’ regarding the Palestinian issue.”