On a summer evening about a decade ago, an unusual group entered the spacious Israeli beach house home of Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. His guest at his home in Beit Yanai, to which he had made a special trip from his home in Los Angeles especially for the meeting, was Meir Dagan, the director at the time of Israel’s Mossad espionage agency.
Also in attendance was a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin and the oligarch’s young daughter. They were joined by several others as well.
While he was head of the Mossad, Dagan viewed the development of close ties with Russia, with Putin and with his close circle of associates as a strategic goal, and he accompanied the Israeli prime ministers under whom he served — Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Netanyahu — in their meetings with the president of Russia.