When Israel declared independence in 1948, it had to use mostly small arms to repel attacks by six Arab armies. Today, however, Israel feels, and is, more menaced than it was then or has been since. Hence the potentially world-shaking decision that will be made here, probably within two years.
To understand the man who will make it, begin with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's belief that stopping Iran's nuclear weapons program is integral to stopping the worldwide campaign to reverse 1948. It is, he says, a campaign to "put the Jew back to the status of a being that couldn't defend himself -- a perfect victim."
Today's Middle East, he says, reflects two developments. One is the rise of Iran and militant Islam since the 1979 revolution, which led to al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. The other development is the multiplying threat of missile warfare.