France, Alexander A. Toward an Understanding of Polarizing Leadership: An Operational Code Analysis of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, BA honors Thesis. Ohio University, 2016.
This analysis of Benjamin Netanyahu compiles a vast amount of information about his operational code. The overarching conclusion drawn was that,as a general theme, he is indeed hawkish and shows realist characteristics. However, there is a large amount of nuance in his decision making and world view described and revealed in qualitative analysis. Case studies showed that Netanyahu’s discourse about both Iran and Palestine has changed somewhat over time, but that his general tendencies and feelings seem to have not. Also, and perhaps most intriguingly, it was discovered that Netanyahu’s professed operational code disguises much of his nature. In his speaking, and to a lesser extent in his social media, Netanyahu manages to portray himself and his strategies as pursuant to peace. In 162reality, they may bring order and quiet, but are not likely to create sustainable peace. This characteristic is particularly interesting, as it may relate to the appeal of polarizing leadership in general. Perhaps it resonates with a constituency to hold up high ideals, but deny their possibility, thus leading followers to accept a more rational—maybe better read as “conflictual”— approach. It is possible that Netanyahu really does wish to have peace, but feels that only order and quiet are attainable. This would fit his realist tendencies as well as some of the conflicts within his own operational code. Knowing this for sure may be outside of the realm of what can be achieved by observing a politician from a distance, however, functionally speaking, this study can confirm that power is the main language that Netanyahu seems to understand.