It’s not every day that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calls the press
together to deliver a particular message, in his own voice and not via a written
In fact, it is something he seldom does – it has happened
maybe only half a dozen times over the more than three years since he came to
power in 2009.
So when his office let it be known Thursday afternoon that
Netanyahu would deliver a short statement on the terrorist bombing in Bulgaria,
there were some who expected a dramatic statement.
Netanyahu’s brief statement was no operative announcement
about when, where and how Israel would respond to the attack that the prime
minister said – without equivocation – had come from Hezbollah and
But though the statement was not overly dramatic, it was highly
significant. What Netanyahu did was take the horrific attack and hold it up to
the world as an example of Iranian behavior. This, he said in so many words, is
how Tehran acts now. Imagine how it will act if it gets nuclear
“There is nothing that reveals the true face of our enemies more
than despicable terror attacks against us,” Netanyahu said. “They attacked and
killed innocent civilians – families, youth, children, people who went for an
innocent vacation, and their only crime was being Israeli and
Netanyahu said unequivocally – based on intelligence information
– that the attack in Bulgaria was the work of Hezbollah, which he called “the
long arm of Iran.” For more than a year, he said, Iran and its client Hezbollah
have carried out a terror campaign that has reached five continents. Many of
those responsible for some of the more than 20 attacks he was referencing, but
did not spell out, have been arrested and interrogated.
to government officials, the man arrested in Cyprus late last month for
preparing an attack there has admitted under interrogation to being a Hezbollah
operative, and his modus operandi for carrying out the thwarted attack in Cyprus
was identical to the modus operandi of the attack in Bulgaria.
the time has come for all the countries of the world who know the truth – not
just Israel – to clearly state the truth,” Netanyahu said.
responsible for this wave of terrorism. Iran is the No. 1 exporter of terrorism
in the world. It is forbidden for a terrorist state to have nuclear weapons. It
is forbidden for the world’s most dangerous country to get the world’s most
The prime minister’s statement was not about
terrorism, a scourge Israel has battled for years and will continue to battle in
various forms for years to come. No, this statement was about a nuclear Iran,
using an act of terror to show the world clearly the dangers of such a nuclear
Netanyahu took an incident the world roundly condemned and said,
“Look, this is what Iran does, this is what the regime is. This is a country
that does not play by the rules or respect international norms of behavior. This
is how that country acts now. How will it behave with weapons of mass
destruction?” While there was nothing brilliantly new in this message – the
reasonable countries of the world know full well the nature of the Iranian
regime – it is one thing to know something, and quite another to have it hit you
smack in the face. Netanyahu took the horrific attack in Burgas and smacked the
world with it, hoping to shake up those who are still showing signs of
complacency toward Iran, or those who have forgotten the true pattern of Iranian
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