13 Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu: For Forcing the World to Confront Iran's Nuclear Program

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Defense minister, prime minister | Israel

Almost single-handedly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have wrenched the world's attention toward the apocalyptic potential of a nuclear Iran. "Today a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval," Netanyahu said at the United Nations in September. "At stake is not merely the future of my country. At stake is the future of the world."

Barak, once the standard-bearer of the Israeli left and an implacable foe of Netanyahu, has improbably become Bibi's closest ally in the effort to stop Tehran from going nuclear. He has played a crucial role in focusing minds on what he calls the "zone of immunity"--when Iran's nuclear program is past the point it can be destroyed by arms. If Israel does decide to strike on its own, it will be in no small measure due to Barak's framing of a threat that he has called "a sword on the neck" of the Jewish state.

The effects of a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities remain unknown, but the result of this rhetorical offensive has been impressive. …