Benjamin Netanyahu is the antithesis of Barack Obama. Decisive. Forceful. Unapologetic. Vociferously patriotic. A warrior, literally and figuratively.
Simply put, the man called Bibi is the most Alpha of males.
When the Israeli Prime Minister came to address Congress this week, our president petulantly said he would not watch the speech, and later gave it a negative review.
Let's be clear: Whatever diplomatic niceties they may express, despite all those "my friend Barack" utterances, these guys don't like each another. A top Israeli politician has actually said that Benjamin Netanyahu "loathes" President Obama.
But personal animus is not the main concern here. The issue is Iran, which is led by some of the world's most dangerous villains. The Iranian mullahs have vowed time and time again to redraw the map of the Middle East.
Of course, the map of their fantasies would not include Israel. It would be, to borrow from Nazi terminology, "Judenfrei." Free of Jews.
So it's easy to understand why many Israelis, Benjamin Netanyahu among them, are wary of the deal being negotiated in Switzerland. On one side of the table sit the United States and five other world powers. On the other side sits Iran, which is not keen on being told to curb its nuclear ambitions. The deadline keeps being pushed back, but Secretary of State John Kerry insists that progress is being made.
However estimable his eloquence and passion on Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu was premature when he declared this a "very bad deal." There is no deal and walking away now would be a terrible idea. Let's keep talking to the mullahs, let's try mightily to tamp down their nuclear ambitions. Not only for the sake of Israel, but for the sake of global security.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is using a tactical maneuver to pry the Senate into the procedure. In the process, he has angered Democrats and even some of his fellow Republicans.
McConnell would be well-advised to let the negotiators in Switzerland finish their work, which is supposed to be finished by the end of the month. Once a deal is struck, then let the Senate weigh in. If there is no deal or a bad one, draconian sanctions should be put in place that would strangle Iran's economy. As Charles Krauthammer said this week, sanctions are "what brought the Iranians to their knees in the first place."
Americans are desperate for clarity and honesty. A foreign leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, stood before Congress and laid out the dangers in a very powerful and persuasive way. Now it's time for our own leader to explain how these talks in Switzerland will prevent the world's most dangerous nation from building a nuclear bomb. And why a pact with Iran will make the world a safer place.
Whether or not you like Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. President, you should tell us, clearly and directly, where Bibi is wrong. Or right.