About three years ago, I celebrated my 30th birthday at my home. Among other people, I also invited Benjamin Netanyahu, who at the time was the leader of a small and defeated party with 12 Knesset seats. He sat down on a white sofa (he was suffering from back pains) and curiously looked around the room.
This was Kadima's heyday, yet Netanyahu tried to explain to anyone who was willing to listen that in the Gaza Strip Hamas was in possession of something called Grad. That word sounded strange to me back then.
So exactly do they possess? I asked. Grads, he said. They have Grad missiles. These missiles can reach Beersheba.
I looked at him and asked why he was so concerned. At the time, there was no hint of a flare-up in Gaza, or in the north for that matter. Why does he always have to be so grim, I wondered at the time.
Two days after my birthday I called Netanyahu to thank him for coming. I told him: Listen, Bibi, you know I love you, but why do you always have to be so depressing? Why scare people with this talk about Grads? Who cares about it? Why do you always think about the worst case scenario?
Netanyahu attempted to hear me out. What do you think I should to, he asked me – refrain from expressing the bitter truth just because people are incapable of hearing it? Perhaps this is what you should do, I told him. If the people don't want to hear grim predictions, perhaps you should keep them to yourself, even if it's the truth?
Meanwhile, I was thinking to myself that Netanyahu's concerns are exaggerated, of course.
And this, perhaps, may be Netanyahu's tragedy. He is too right. He sees too far ahead. He predicted the emergence of the axis of evil 20 years before George W. Bush, and also foresaw the establishment of the Hamas government in Gaza when everyone was still euphoric about Kadima and Sharon.
Yet now, when finally we decided to fight the Grads, who even remembers when we heard that word the first time?