Being strong is not enough. An Israeli leader has to understand the nature of the Iranian threat. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the only Israeli leader who understands the nature and, consequently, the magnitude of the Iranian threat. He is the only one who was briefed by Bernard Lewis. Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit wrote in 2012:
“A few years ago, Netanyahu held an in-depth discussion with Middle East expert Bernard Lewis. At the end of the talk, he was convinced that if the ayatollahs obtained nuclear weapons, they would use them. Since that day, Netanyahu seems convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s.”
Mr. Netanyahu is also the only leader in the world who quoted Mr. Lewis’s warning: “For people with this mindset, MAD [mutually assured destruction] is not a constraint; it is an inducement....”
Former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon used to be the other Israeli leader who was aware of the eschatological threat from Iranian “twelvers.” Then he became a politician and started contradicting himself. So now, only Bibi is left.