With all of Israel preoccupied by the flurry of investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the most incredible strategic statements that has been uttered by an Israeli prime minister in the current era passed almost under the public radar. These words were uttered by Netanyahu in a speech to the attendees of the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 18.
Much attention was paid to the speech because Netanyahu whipped out one of the pieces of the Iranian drone that was felled by the Israeli air force Feb. 10. After he exhibited the piece and explained its origin, Netanyahu said the following: “Israel will not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act, if necessary, not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.” In other words, according to Netanyahu, Israel will try to put an end to the Iranian-proxy contest and change the rules of the game. Iran will no longer be able to hide behind Hezbollah, Hamas or anonymous Shiite militias. Should Israel identify any terror act as being orchestrated by Iran — whether by Iranian directive, funding, guidance or even mere inspiration — then Israel will retaliate not only against the direct perpetrators, but also against Iran itself. The masquerade party is over, Netanyahu is saying. From now on, Israel will extract a painful price from Iran for its involvement in terror against Israel.