Netanyahu has crafted a reputation as an exceptionally clever and politically astute leader. Besides his impressive erudition, he has demonstrated on innumerable occasions over the years that he is both a savvy statesman and skilled diplomat.
Above all, Prime Minister Netanyahu is a bold, decisive and intrepid leader who shows no fear of Israel’s many enemies and displays the requisite fortitude in calling for the defense of Israel in all circumstances.
As it pertains to Israel’s arch nemesis, Iran, Netanyahu has consistently gone on the record with concrete and verifiable evidence that the 2015 nuclear deal “will not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but will lead them on the path to acquiring one.”
In the days prior to President Trump’s historic and courageous decision to withdraw from the ill-conceived Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel’s enemies who threaten the state with destruction “should know that they will encounter an iron wall” and are “are putting themselves in grave danger,” while at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Israel Defense Forces.
“To our regret, from time to time we are called upon to pay a price on both the battlefield and the home front. The establishment of the state has not led to a cessation of the desire to attack us. What it has brought is the ability to make war against our enemies. Whoever hurts us, we will hurt them,” Netanyahu said.
“Our steel fist is clenched and ready but before everything it depends on spirit, the undaunted spirit of the men and women who serve in the IDF, in every unit, in every role,” Netanyahu continued.
Speaking at Latrun, West of Jerusalem, Netanyahu added: “We will continue to guard the State of Israel, a precious legacy that has been placed in our hands. Five hundred meters from here, on the nearby hill, in Emmaus, the army of Judah Maccabee fought with bravery and resourcefulness. The Maccabees did not stop until they had achieved victory.”
Victory, Netanyahu said, would be what Israel would achieve, should it be pushed into conflict. “This is your mission,” he told the audience that included the IDF’s top brass, “victory in battle, victory in war, victory over our enemies, if war is forced on us.
The Prime Minister ended his speech with a message of confidence in the IDF’s soldiers and commanders. “I have confidence in you, in the Chief-of-Staff, commanders and soldiers. The entire nation has confidence in you. The entire nation is proud of you and on behalf of the entire nation, I salute you.”
On Thursday, May 10th, in a stern warning directed especially at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed in a Hebrew-language video message that the IDF will respond powerfully to any attacks on Israeli territory.
Shortly after midnight Wednesday, IDF defense systems identified approximately 20 rockets that the Iranian Quds forces had launched at IDF forward posts on the Golan Heights. The majority of the rockets missed their mark and fell in Syria territory, while four were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Carried out from Iranian military bases in Syria, it was the first direct Iranian attack on Israel rather than through its proxies.
The assault prompted an extensive Israel Air Force attack on dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel’s forces struck “nearly all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria.”
In his first comments since the missile attack, Netanyahu, speaking at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, said that “Iran crossed a red line. We responded accordingly. The IDF carried out a very wide-ranging attack against Iranian targets in Syria.
“Thanks to a correct deployment of our forces both offensively and defensively, the Iranian action failed. No rocket landed in Israeli territory and our policy is clear: We will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria,” he stated.
“Yesterday I delivered a clear message to the Assad regime: Our action is directed against Iranian targets in Syria; however, if the Syrian military acts against us, we will act against it. This is exactly what happened yesterday –
Syrian military batteries fired surface-to-air missiles against us and, therefore, we attacked them.
“The international community needs to prevent the Iranian Al-Quds force from establishing itself in Syria. We need to unite in order to cut off its spreading tentacles of evil there and everywhere,” the prime minister added.
“I repeat: Whoever hurts us – we will hurt them sevenfold, and whoever is preparing to hurt us – we will act to hit them first. This is what we have done and this is what we will continue to do,” he asserted.