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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Outgoing Mossad head delivers farewell words

Meir Dagan praises Mossad as "superb and unique group of women and men," congratulates Pardo as his replacement, thanks Netanyahu.

The outgoing head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, delivered words of farewell at the opening of the cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday.

"I did the best I could," Dagan said after serving in his role for eight years, and added that the appointment of his successor, Tamir Pardo, was "both worthy and correct"

He wished him "heartfelt success;" saying, "his will be a tangible contribution to the security of the State of Israel."

Dagan also commented on his devotion to Mossad during his service.

"I hereby finish over 43 years of service to the state. I have had the honor and the privilege of leading the Mossad for the past eight years. With your permission, instead of discussing myself, I would like to say a few words about those who serve in the Mossad.

"They are an excellent and unique group of both women and men, who act with originality and daring, who are imbued with a sense of mission, and who work unselfishly night and day. Usually, they do not have backing and support as a group, nor do they have tank or air assistance, and, in most cases, there is no possibility of rescue. They operate with the sole protection of their sharp wits, their cover story and their courage.

"They cannot even tell their loved ones about what they are doing, and seclusion is their constant companion. What motivates them is the need to protect the Jewish People and the State of Israel."

Dagan also thanked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his support.

"I would like, Mr. Prime Minister, to thank you for your support and backing, and I would like to wish you and to the Government of the State of Israel the wisdom to guide the country through stormy seas, and that you will bring Israel to the safe harbors of peace and security, and will see to the needs of its citizens. "

In his remarks at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, "I have thought how I could thank you for your contributions, your great and considerable contributions, to the security of Israel, in all of these roles.

"I cannot tell about all of your actions but I can tell ministers about a conversation we had in the Mossad offices, approximately one year ago.

"I sat in your office and I saw on the wall the picture of an elderly religious Jew, on his knees before Nazi thugs. This picture caught my eye and I asked you about it. You said that that was your grandfather. I asked you what happened to him. You told me: They murdered him.

"Then I said, Meir, I understand you; now I understand you. I understand your deep commitment to ensure that nobody could ever again be able to implement the threat of annihilating the Jewish People. This is both a personal and national order and you acted in accordance with it.

"As Prime Minister, I would like to thank you on behalf of the Government and citizens of Israel, and on behalf of the Jewish People, for all of the great things that you have done for us, for the security of Israel. Meir, thank you very much," he concluded.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak also spoke saying, "Dagan's contribution to the security of Israel in the IDF and the Mossad -[was] brilliant. Meir you can look back and summarize your activities with satisfaction and pride."

"Dagan is a special leader, his personality has brought prosperity and success in many areas...We owe a tremendous debt for the contribution of Dagan to the security of the State of Israel," he concluded.