Meir Dagan
Meir Dagan Israel news photo: Flash 90

A verbal confrontation broke out on Sunday between Environment Minister Gilad Erdan and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, over remarks disparaging to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak that were made over the weekend by former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin.

The incident took place during the Jerusalem Post conference in New York, where both men spoke.

Earlier, Dagan came out with a statement of support for Diskin, saying he “is a good 'young' man, he is serious and he expresses his truth.”

Erdan, on the other hand, sharply criticized Diskin for attacking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak at an open forum.

Diskin said that Netanyahu and Barak are “messianic” and “unfit to hold the reins of power. They give the public a false picture on the Iran question. They create the feeling that if Israel does not act, Iran will have a nuclear bomb, even though experts think that an attack on Iran will cause it to speed up the process of arming with nuclear weapons.”

The verbal confrontation between Erdan and Dagan broke out during Erdan’s remarks at the conference. Erdan said, “It surprises me that people like Diskin speak this way...if Diskin thought our policy is so dangerous, he should have resigned rather than wait five years and then agree to remain in his position for another year.”

At this point Dagan interrupted Erdan and said, “You’re lying, you’re lying,” and added, “Your party is suggesting a cooling period for security personnel so they cannot speak publicly on issues that have to do with their work.”

Erdan responded to Dagan, saying that he was harming Israel's interests. “Maybe the two of you should join politics. Stop hiding behind theories,” he said.