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Meir Dagan, gadfly

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Ronen Zvulun/AP/File

(Read caption) In this Jan. 2 file photo, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (r.) hugs Meir Dagan, then outgoing Mossad boss, after thanking him at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

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Israel reveres its generals and spy chiefs. They traditionally wield great influence over security decisions while in power, and keep mum once they're out.

But recently retired Mossad boss Meir Dagan has been on a tear. Famously reticent to talk while running Israel's spy agency, he remained quiet after stepping down in September following eight years on the job. But then this May he started to make up for lost time, speaking out in a way that is infuriating allies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He called the idea of an Israeli strike on Iran "the stupidest thing I have ever heard." He also said that Israel must, for its own well-being, accept the Saudi-led peace plan that would see Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders and give Palestinians a capital in East Jerusalem.

Israel's Channel 2 reported over the weekend that Dagan was ordered to immediately surrender his diplomatic passport (Israeli officials are apparently generally allowed a grace period with the passport after leaving office) and speculated that it could be "to get even" with Dagan.


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