Hamas Breaks Ceasefire, Israel Responds Destroying Military Targets in Gaza

Hamas broke their own ceasefire last night by firing more than five rockets and mortars into Israel.  These landed in populated civilian areas sending residents fleeing into their bunkers.  The IDF attacked back immediately destroying multile military targets in Gaza.

Is War Coming to Israel’s South?

There is no doubt that Iran is pulling the strings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in order to open up a third front against Israel.  The Gaza front has little to do with conquering territory.  Rather it is being activated with the sole purpose of draining Israel’s resources and attention away from the North, mainly from Iranian movements in and around the Golan. The war being waged against Israel, is designed to exact a psychological toll on Israel’s populace while buying time for Iran to find a hole in Israel’s defenses.

The first round of warfare clearly went to Israel, but unless Russia agrees to the total removal of Iran and Hezbollah from Syria and not just near the Golan, the noose will continue to tighten around the Jewish State.

Israeli Deep State Admits they Don’t Respect Democracy

Tamir Pardo, the former Mossad head has now admitted that he and others were prepared to disobey orders given by Prime Minister Netanyahu to attack Iran several years ago. According to sources Netanyahu gave them 15 days to prepare.  Although the order was eventially nullified.  The reaction to many entrenched in Israel’s Deep State is telling.

In an interview set to air in Israel, Pardo admits that he and others questioned Netanyahu legal right to prepare the security arms to attack Iran.

“I made as many inquiries as I could,” he said. “I asked the previous Mossad chief…I asked legal experts. I asked everyone I could find to ask, in order to understand who has the authority to give orders on any issue which would start a war.”

“At the end of the day, if I receive an order, and if I receive an order from the Prime Minister, then I am supposed to carry it out. I need to be sure that if, G-d forbid, something goes wrong, or if the action fails, there won’t be a situation in which I did something illegal.”

In the interview Pardo claimed he was considering resigning.

“When the diplomats give an order, you have two options,” Pardo said. “One option is to carry it out, and another option is to hand in the keys. It’s good that I didn’t have to make that decision….though I did think of it.”

Reaction has been swift by the current government.

The current Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said the following on Pardo’s revelation:

“What Tamir Pardo did was no less than an act of rebellion. In a democracy, those who the people elected are the ones who make the decisions. It is inconceivable that someone working in the public sector will refuse to listen to the government’s orders, when the government was chosen by Israeli citizens. His decision to discuss this topic when we are in the midst of an international battle against those funding Iranian terror harms the battle against Iran, solely for the sake of headlines.”

Deputy Minister Michael Oren also came out swinging at Pardo and Israel’s Deep State:

“The phenomenon of ‘securityists’ and ‘exes’ who come out against the government is only growing. It is important to remember that most of them do not see the overall picture and are not aware of all the factors that led to one decision or another. They are not skilled in decision-making on the international political-strategic level. Moreover, the prime minister has to rely on the people he appoints.”

Given the fact that Netanyahu himself is considered a security minded Prime Minister makes the decisions of Pardo and his colleagues very puzzling.  Israel’s Deep State has increasingly been cornered by Likud and Jewish Home leaders who have taken a proverbial broom to state institutions.

BIBI NETANYAHU: “It is Iran that is Responsible”

As calm began to return to the Gaza belt communities, Prime Minister Netanyahu touched on the IDF’s response the attacks by Hamas.

“Since yesterday the IDF has strongly retaliated against the firing from the Gaza Strip and has hit dozens of terrorist targets in the severest blow we have landed on them in years,” the Prime Minister Netanyahu stated at a ceremony for the victims of the Atalena.

“The Hamas regime, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist organizations, inspired by Iran, that are responsible for the escalation. I will not detail our plans because I do not want the enemy to know what to expect. But one thing is clear: When they test us, they pay immediately. And if they continue testing us, they will pay dearly.”

“I salute the fighters of the IDF and the security forces and I commend the resilience of the residents of the south.”

As of tonight, the IDF’s strategy of hitting hard and early to prevent a cascading conflict appears to be working as Hamas has stopped firing rockets. Given the fluid situation anything is possible, but it appears that Hamas is rethinking its offensive.

Iran Tells Israel it is Ready to Abandon Syria in Covert Meetings

Rumors are swirling the Arab media that an Israeli delegation met with their Iranian counterparts in Amman, using Jordan as a go between.  First of all, the idea they are talking at all is truly astounding, but what was discussed is even more surprising.

Elaph, the Saudi owned news site was the first to break the story.

Middle East Eye summarizes the Arabic language story as follows:

Iran reportedly pledged to stay out of fighting in southwest Syria between Syrian forces and rebel groups while Israel said it will not intervene in battles near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights or the Israel-Jordan border so long as Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias are not involved.

For the negotiations, Iran’s ambassador to Jordan, Mostafa Moslehzadeh, stayed in a hotel room with Iranian security personnel next door to a room of senior Israeli security officials, including the deputy head of Mossad, Elaph reported.

Jordanian officials served as mediator, shuttling messages between the two rooms, according to the report.

Apparently, the two sides did come to some agreement of terms. Middle East eye continues:

One participant told Elaph that the Iranians “arrived at a quick agreement” that its forces would not intervene in fighting near the Golan Heights and the Israel-Jordan border, surprising the Israeli representatives.

Assuming all of this is true, it would signal a major concession by Iran. In a sense Tehran can be seen as capitualting in the face of an unprecedented offensive by Israel. Given the fact that Israel has been tacitly backed by Russia over the last few months, while the IAF has essentially wiped out Iran’s IRGC holdings in southwest Syria seems to have made an impression on Tehran.

Sources indicate that the next stage in the offensive involves the IAF attacking Iranian targets closer to Iraq. Given Russia’s belief that Iran has overstayed its welcome in Syria, then there is no reason to believe the IAF would not have the same degree of free movement it already enjoys in Syria.

Iran Appears to be on the Retreat

Iran’s economy is about to take a serious hit from Trump’s JCPOA decertification. It is also losing its inevitable control over Iraq to a neutral player in Sadr, and its move towards Israel has only bought it destruction.  Does this mean we have seen the last of Iran?  Not at all.  The Ayatollah’s understand they need to shift focus. So rather than Iran doing the heavy lifting, the job of attacking Israel falls to Hezbollah.

Iran will attempt to focus its energies on holding onto its control of the Shiite areas in Iraq as it seeks to dominate the Persian Gulf.

Trump Puts the Screws on North Korea and Iran

News today that President Trump decided to pull out of his much vaunted summit with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un sent shockwaves around the world.  US markets dipped on the news.  Once Trump pulled out of the JCPOA (aka Iran nuclear agreement) this should not have been a surprise to anyone.  There has been overwhelming evidence for some time now that Iran and North Korea have been working together.  Iran was essentially helping North Korea financially with all the oil cash it began to receive in order for North Korea to test Iranian advances in their nuclear program.

Ultimately Trump understands that a true hardline approach is needed with these actors.  As China threatens Taiwan and Iran moves towards resuming nuclear development in order to reach full breakout, North Korea’s true intentions never matched their photo ops.

With Israel and Jordan increasingly cornered by Iran and Hezbollah, the Trump administration sees war on the horizon.  In a situation with war against Iran, having North Korea play games with diplomacy is downright dangerous.  The Trump administration has decided to take a hardline against North Korea and thus be ready for the coming hot war on the verge of breaking out.

In the months to come watch for Iran to make moves against Israel by way of Hezbollah, while it directly pushes against Saudi Arabia.  Kim Jong Un is now embarrassed. With China threathening Taiwan and Iran on the move, North Korea has nothing holding it back from going all in.

Iran Stays Put in Syria, Raising the Stakes with Israel and the USA

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 point plan to force Iran into complying with normative international behavior is still driving the public discourse on the rogue regime’s nuclear ambitions.  While the Europeans have fought to hold onto the JCPOA, the US has slammed harsh sanctions on Tehran giving the EU a choice  – choose between Iranian oil or the US markets and financial institutions.

For Iran’s part they have not backed down.  If anything they see Pompeo’s speech given at the Heritage Foundation on May 21st as a “declaration of war.”  In usual Iranian parlance they have redoubled their efforts to strengthen their positions in Syria as well as ordering their Houthi proxy in Yemen to increase missile attacks..

For Israel, Iranian intransigence and its deepening hold on the southern areas of Syria pose the  most dangerous threat.  While Russia has appeared to sit back allowing Israel to roll back Iranian advancements, it still continues to provide advanced weaponry to Assad as well as allowing the Iranians to restock their forces in Syria.

Putin has masterfully pinned both Israel and Iran against each other in Syria allowing him to strengthen his holdings while ensuring the growing conflict between the Mullahs and Jerusalem keeps the USA’s focus off of his actions.

Will Jordan Fall to Iran?

Iranian and Hezbollah troops in southern Syria are not only becoming a threat to Israel, but are in a position to harm Jordan.  While there are significant US troops by the Yarmuk, they will be over matched by Hezbollah and Iran, if Putin decided to provide air support for any attacks the group may need to carry out cross border attacks in the fragile Hashemite kingdom.

Expect protests by Palestinians to continue against the King at the same time the kingdom faces an external threat from Iran.

Clash Between USA and Iran Inevitable

Anyone who believed that Iran would learn from new USA sanctions is missing the point on why the Trump administration pulled out of the JCPOA.  The Trump team determined it is far better to face a weaker Iran now than a regional powerhouse with nuclear capabilities in a few years. Trump’s team like many clear-sighted people understand that the Iranian regime will not change.  Afterall the Mullahs are set on conquest. It is part of their ideology and religious belief set.  The Iranian leaders will not stop being a menace to global security unless they are removed.

Syria is now ground zero for the coming war between the USA and Iran.

The Crashing Iranian Economy and the Mullahs’ Last Stand

There are reports now that Iranian officials are in a panic as they race to save the nuclear deal and stave off a return of crushing sanctions on their fragile economy. Although European officials have claimed they will stay in the nuclear deal despite President Trump decertifying the it and reapplying crushing sanctions last week, there is little they can do.  Iranian government representatives and their European counterparts have been huddling with ex State Department officials last week, but with little success with a way forward as Congress has been cool to the idea of discussing any relaxing of sanctions.

The Washington Free Beacon reported the following:

European diplomats are said to be blaming the Obama administration for drumming up business with Iran and telling these allies that they could engage in economic transactions without penalty. The reaction from lawmakers has been unsympathetic, source said, explaining that congressional opponents of the deal long warned these European countries the deal would be subject to harsh scrutiny after President Barack Obama left office.

A State Department official familiar with the progress of new negotiations surrounding the deal said the Trump administration is set on fundamentally changing Iran’s behavior, including its buildup on ballistic missiles and support for terrorism, before it agree to any Iranian demands.

One veteran U.S. adviser close to the White House told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran’s reaction indicates its desperation to remain in the Obama-era agreement and continue receiving cash windfalls.

“As President Trump has always said, the Iran deal was great for the mullahs and terrible for the American people,” the source said, speaking only on background. “Obama gave Iran more than they could ever have imagined, and now Trump is taking it away. The Iranians are rushing to grab and save whatever they can. Europe will have to choose a side.”

Despite public calls for doing business with Iran, there is little the EU can do as corporations are pulling out of doing business with the rogue state due to fear from banking sanctions.  Russia has no interest in saving the deal either despite public comradery, since Putin finally has an Iran that is becoming pacified before it grows out of control.

All of this pressure on the regime in Tehran makes it far more likely that a military confrontation is in the offing. This is not a bad thing.  A war was expected eventually between the Ayatollahs in Iran and Israel and the Sunni block. If the JCPOA had been kept, Iran would have waited and been far too powerful to stop.  Now they are in a weak position and except for Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen, Iran cannot sustain a warfront for too long unless they have other actors enter on their behalf.

With North Korea threatening to pull out of the Trump-Un meet up and China becoming a serious threat, the Mullahs may be banking on making a last stand. Yet they will have to do this before their economy crashes and their citizens revolt.

CHAOS CONTINUES: Both Iran and US Lose Iraq

While the dust still settles in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, it has become clear that they have chosen Muqtada al-Sadr’s list.  Muqtada al-Sadr is the Shiite cleric whose Shiite militia fought against US troops in Iraq and is responsible for thousands of casualties. Sadr’s list is not merely made up of Shiite radicals, but of secularists as well.

It is a mistake to classify Muqtada al-Sadr as a Shiite radical only.  What has become clear to those who have interacted with him is that he is as much an Iraqi nationalist as a Shiite radical.

According to Johnathan Steele who is one of the few Western journalists to have interviewed Sadr, “He [Sadr] even dared to say that once IS had been defeated, he wanted Iranian forces and the Americans to leave Iraq. While he called the Americans ‘invaders’, he was diplomatic enough to call the Iranians “‘friendly forces’ – but his message that both sides should leave Iraq was bold. It went well beyond anything that Abadi or Ameri would say or want.” 

Steele went on to infer the following: “No wonder that Tehran has publicly declared it will not allow Sadr to take power or play the decisive role in the government that will be formed after this weekend’s elections. ‘We will not allow liberals and communists to govern in Iraq,’ Ali Akbar Velayati, the senior adviser on foreign affairs to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in February.”

If Steele is right Iraq’s turmoil may just beginning. Whatever coalition Sadr puts together will have to contend with an Iran that will not be willing to let go of Iraq and at same time the new Iraqi government will of course ask the US to leave.

It is easy to see how this can quickly turn an Iraq that has been torn apart by sectarian conflict to further wade into the abyss, torn between Iran and the US.

Of course, given the fact that Sadr is ultimately a Shiite radical as well as a crafty leader, he may opt to allow Iran to stay just long enough to ensure the US is forced to abandon Iraq.


Will Bahrain and Tunisia Move Their Embassies to Jerusalem?

With all the noise around President Trump’s decertification of the Iran deal over the last seven days, two voices, traditionally associated with being in opposition to Israel, made astonishing statements signaling the end of their animosity to Israel.

The first is Bahrain, whose foreign minister Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa declared the following after the first direct confrontation between Iran and Israel Wednesday night:

“As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and invaded countries with its forces and missiles, so any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying sources of danger.”

Bahrain has shown extroadinary openess to Jews in recent years with its king including a Jew on his council. While Bahrain despises Iran, ever since the Iranian attempted stage a coup against its king in 1981, this statement goes far beyond other overtures.

The second country is Tunisia, who still has a Jewish population on the island of Jerba.  The head of Tunisia’s Liberal Party Mounir Baator made the following statement in a debate on Tunisian TV where he argued with a conservative lawmaker:

“How was Israel affected by the tearing up of its flag? It was a meaningless gesture with no impact. He took an A4 sheet of paper and tore it up. It was nothing but a show. Why didn’t you tear up the American flag?” he said.

He explained that “we are calling for normal economic relations with all countries. We believe that enmity toward Israel and love of the Palestinian cause are not Tunisia’s real problems today. Tunisia’s problems are social and economic.”

“Whether or not you tear up the flag of the Zionist entity… By the way, it is called the State of Israel, not the Zionist entity. The State of Israel exists, it is a member in the United Nations and in all the international organizations, and its flag flies everywhere. So whether or not you tear it up is immaterial to Israel,” he added.

While it appears these two countries are far from ready to move their embassies to Jerusalem, let alone having real diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, the voices beginning to flow from many of their citizens and even government members are encouraging and a true sign that we are living in momentous times.


Netanyahu’s finest hour

Originally Published in the Jerusalem Post.

At the start of his cabinet meeting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump discussed his announcement Tuesday afternoon that he is removing the US from his predecessor Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and reinstating the nuclear sanctions that were suspended with the deal’s implementation in January 2016.

European and other international leaders responded angrily to Trump’s move. The EU’s foreign policy commissioner Federica Mogherini was downright indignant.

Apparently unaware that the US is a more important EU ally than Iran, Mogherini insisted, “The European Union is determined to preserve it. Together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal.”

The liberal US media outlets were also aghast. Commentators joined the chorus of former Obama administration officials condemning Trump and insisting his move will isolate the US from the international community.

Trump brushed off his critics by noting, “You saw [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu get up yesterday and talk so favorably about what we did.”

In other words, as far as Trump is concerned, Israel’s support is just as valuable as Mogherini’s. He’s perfectly willing to suffice with Israeli support. Having Israel in his corner means that the US is not isolated.

From moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, to walking away from the nuclear deal which guaranteed Iran’s eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons and financed its regional aggression and terrorism sponsorship, to unconditionally supporting Israel’s military operations against Iranian positions in Syria, Trump has demonstrated that he is the most pro-Israel president in US history. No other president comes close.

The difference between Trump and his predecessors is that Trump accepts Israel on its own terms. He doesn’t expect Israel to do anything to “earn” American support. So long as Israel is in America’s corner, he respects the Jewish state as America’s ally.

Trump has earned all the credit for transforming the US-Israel relationship into a full-blown strategic relationship. But it was another leader that prepared the groundwork for his actions.

That leader is Netanyahu.

For many Republicans, Netanyahu is the most important foreign leader of our times. In the ranks of their esteem he ranks a close second to Winston Churchill. Netanyahu’s high standing is all the more remarkable given that Israel has no British Empire behind it. In the vast scope of things, Israel is a tiny country with no coattails.

Republicans aren’t the only ones who admire him. World leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chinese Premier Xi Jinping welcome him to their capitals like a visiting monarch. Sandwiched between two major Israeli air assaults on Iranian military assets in Syria Tuesday and Wednesday night, Netanyahu flew to Moscow. He stood next to Putin in Red Square as the Red Army Band played “Hativka” during the parade marking the 73rd anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

What explains his meteoric rise? How is it possible that an Israeli politician from the political Right, a man castigated for decades by the local and Western leftist elites as a fanatic and an extremist, is so revered today?

To understand Netanyahu’s success, a comparison with the late Shimon Peres is in order. Until his death, the same elites who revile Netanyahu revered Peres as the greatest Israeli statesman of all time.

Peres had a clear formula for statesmanship. He identified the interests of key actors – first and foremost, the Europeans – and he adopted them.

Consider his central foreign policy initiative, the Oslo peace process with the PLO.

Since the 1970s, the Europeans sought to legitimize the PLO – at Israel’s expense. In 1993, then-foreign minister Peres turned their goal into an ideology of peace and adopted it as his own.

On Monday, Labor MK Eitan Cabel said that if the late Yitzhak Rabin had known the toll the Oslo process would take on Israel, he never would have adopted it.

In his words, “From my dealings with [Rabin], in my view, if he had known the price the State of Israel would pay for the Oslo agreements, he never would have agreed to them.”

Peres, of course, was different. As the Israeli casualties of his peace process mounted from the tens to the hundreds to the thousands, and as Israel’s international position sunk ever lower, Peres became more dogmatic in its defense.

For his efforts, Peres was personally glorified by the A-list crew of European and American elites. They came to his extravagant birthday parties and had their photos shot embracing him. But none of his triumphs were shared with the country.

Netanyahu, has a different approach to diplomacy. Netanyahu identifies Israel’s national interests. Then he scans the international community for actors with aligned interests. He uses his considerable power of persuasion to convince those actors to achieve common goals.

The discrepancy between the two men’s approaches is nowhere more apparent than in their divergent moves to develop ties with the Arab world.

Peres viewed the Arab world from a European perspective. The EU views the Arab world as a monolithic presence moved only by Israel’s willingness to give Jerusalem to the PLO. So long as Israel refuses to give up Jerusalem, the Arabs will reject the Jewish state. Once Israel has conceded its eternal capital – and Judea and Samaria along with Gaza – the Arabs will be placated in one fell swoop and immediately embrace Israel as a neighbor and friend.

This view, which Peres gave voice to in his book The New Middle East, bears no relationship whatsoever to the realities of the Middle East.

Consequently, rather than embrace his vision, the Arabs viewed it as a Jewish conspiracy to take over the Arab world.

In stark contrast, Netanyahu has built his regional strategy on the real Middle East. During the Obama years, Netanyahu realized that Obama’s policies toward Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood imperiled Sunni Arab states no less, and perhaps even more, than they imperiled Israel.

Netanyahu developed relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the basis of these shared concerns and shared interests in diminishing the deleterious consequences of Obama’s policies. Although Netanyahu’s moves are unlikely to generate extravagant signing ceremonies with doves and balloons, they did bring about a situation where the Saudis, Egyptians and the UAE sided with Israel against Hamas, Qatar and Turkey during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

That united front prevented Obama from coercing Israel into accepting Hamas’s cease-fire terms in the war.

So too, the relationships Netanyahu built formed the basis of a united Israeli-Arab front opposing Obama’s deal with Iran.

Now with Trump in the White House, Netanyahu’s regional policies have fomented a strategic transformation of the US’s system of alliances in the Middle East. Whereas in 1990, then-president George H.W. Bush built a coalition of Arab states against Iraq at Israel’s expense, in 2017, Trump reframed the US’s alliance structure to one based on the common Israeli-Sunni front against Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Throughout Obama’s eight years in office, politicians from the Left accused Netanyahu of destroying Israel’s alliance with the US. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, for instance, chastised Netanyahu in 2015 insisting, “Your understanding of America is obsolete and irrelevant and it is causing damage to the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu did understand America though. He understood the Obama administration was incurably hostile to Israel and that Obama viewed Israel as the main obstacle to achieving his goals in the Middle East. Netanyahu understood that under those circumstances, he had to find partners inside the US – in Congress and among the general public – to lessen the damage Obama was causing Israel.

Netanyahu’s approach to the US during the Obama years, and indeed, during the Clinton administration as well, was to recognize that the administration, while a key actor, is just one actor in a much wider American society, which is by and large deeply supportive of Israel. This insight informed Netanyahu’s decision to bring his opposition to Obama’s nuclear diplomacy with Tehran to the American people directly, through his address before a joint session of Congress in March 2015.

Netanyahu was reviled and attacked brutally by the Israeli and American Left for his move. Both groups insisted that he was undermining and even destroying US ties with Israel.

But the truth was that to a significant degree, Netanyahu’s speech in March 2015 safeguarded and protected the US alliance with Israel.

Netanyahu recognized that the White House’s propaganda campaign on behalf of Obama’s nuclear deal was even more dangerous to Israel than the deal itself. Obama’s campaign centered on delegitimizing all of the deal’s critics, by castigating them as Israeli agents and warmongers. If Obama’s efforts had succeeded, US support for Israel would have crashed, as that support would have been effectively rendered toxic and somehow treasonous.

Netanyahu’s address to Congress stopped Obama’s efforts in their tracks. He preserved the political legitimacy of opposition to the Iran deal and of support for Israel. His speech presented a clear case for how the nuclear deal harmed America’s national interests and how support for Israel advanced America’s national interest. Although Netanyahu’s speech represented the most significant substantive challenge Obama’s foreign policy ever suffered, Netanyahu offered nothing but praise for Obama in his address. In so doing, Netanyahu insulated himself and Israel from charges that he was hostile to Obama or in any way disrespectful of the presidency.

By coming to Washington and preserving the legitimacy of Obama’s opponents, Netanyahu blocked Obama from securing the support of either a majority of US lawmakers or a majority of the US public for his nuclear accord. His speech was the foundation of the Republican Party’s rejection of Obama’s deal. It created the political space for Democratic lawmakers to oppose their president’s most important foreign policy initiative.

If Netanyahu had not deliver his speech, opposition to the nuclear deal might not have become the consensus view of the Republican presidential candidates in the 2016 primaries. If Netanyahu not ensured the continued legitimacy of opponents of the nuclear deal, Trump might not have promised to abandon it.

Trump is the only person who decides his policies and so he has earned the admiration of the people of Israel, who are rightly moved by his extraordinary, unprecedented acts of friendship and support since entering office. But the man who set the conditions that afforded Trump the opportunity to transform the US-Israel relationship into a fullboard alliance is Netanyahu.

Israel is now reaping the rewards of Netanyahu’s visionary statesmanship. For his efforts, over the course of 30 years, Netanyahu has roundly earned the ever growing acknowledgment at home and abroad that he is the greatest statesman in Israel’s history.