Bibi is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister to date.
Informally known as “Bibi” and currently under investigation for corruption, Benjamin Netanyahu is the longest-serving, most right-wing Israeli prime minister to date, and the first Israeli-born politician to assume the post of prime minister.
Here is his story from Washington and back to Tel Aviv.
Son of a “revisionist Zionist” from Poland, Netanyahu traces some of his roots to Spain.
- Zionist father: Born in Jaffa (now known as Tel Aviv) in 1949 to a family of settlers, Netanyahu grew up in Jerusalem and went to high school in the United States.
- Her mother, Tzila Segal, was a Jewish born in Israel and her father Benzion Netanyahu was a secular Jew from Poland. His father, born Benzion Mileikowsky, changed his name to Benzion Netanyahu after moving to Palestine.
- Netanyahu’s father was one of the first revisionist Zionists who believed that Israel should exist on both sides of the Jordan, rejecting compromises with neighboring Arab states.
- In 1967, Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Israeli army and quickly became an elite commando and served as a captain during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
- Saliva test: In 2016, Netanyahu said his brother had done a DNA test, and “it turned out that at least part of this tree must be attributed to the Jews in Spain.”
After serving in the IDF, Netanyahu held various roles under Israel’s Foreign Ministry until his victory in the 1996 general election.
- Ambassador: In 1982, Netanyahu was appointed deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in Washington in 1982. In 1984, he was appointed Israeli ambassador to the The United Nations.
- In 1988, Netanyahu was appointed deputy foreign minister in the office of then Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
- Likud President: After taking over as chairman of the right-wing Likud party in 1993, Netanyahu orchestrated the party’s return to political power after its defeat in the 1992 election.
- Netanyahu later lost the leadership of Likud to Ariel Sharon, and only regained it after Sharon left Likud to form Kadima in 2005.
- Four o’clock in the afternoon: Campaigning under the slogan ‘a strong prime minister’, his Likud Party managed to win enough seats for him to form a coalition with his fellow right-wing parties, Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas.
- Netanyahu won elections in 1996, 2009, 2013 and 2015.
Netanyahu has a “three no’s” mantra: no Palestinian state, no return from the Golan Heights to Syria, and no discussion of the future status of Jerusalem.
- Although he opposes most peace agreements with the Palestinians, Netanyahu signed the Wye River accords in 1998 with Yasser Arafat, then president of the Palestinian National Authority.
- Netanyahu resigned his post as foreign minister in August 2005, to protest Sharon’s plan to disengage from Gaza, which is part of Palestinian territory.
- For critics such as Yuval Diskin, the former head of Israel’s domestic intelligence organization, Netanyahu has an exaggerated sense of entitlement. Diskin once said: “In my opinion there is a mixture of ideology, a deep feeling that he is a prince of an elite Jerusalem ‘royal family’, alongside the insecure and with a deep fear of taking responsibility. ”
- For supporters, he is a strong spokesperson for Israel, willing to tell the public uncomfortable truths and able to resist enemies.
Status of Jerusalem
- Obama Critic: Netanyahu’s relationship with former US President Barack Obama has been called “icy”, as Obama has on occasion criticized the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
- “We will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all places that are on the map of Israel’s strategic interests,” Netanyahu said.
- Resetting Trump: The election of Donald trump was warmly greeted by Netanyahu.
- After eight difficult years in US-Israel relations under Obama, their Meet in Washington, DC was intended to signal a “reset” in relations between the two.
- On December 6, Trump broke with decades of American politics and ad that the United States officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving its embassy to the city.
- Netanyahu hailed the move and said it was “a historic day” for Israel. Jerusalem “Has been the capital of Israel for almost 70 years,” he said in a statement.
- Biden call: A delay in Biden’s first phone call to Israeli prime minister raised speculation the Democratic president was signaling his discontent over Netanyahu’s close ties to former President Donald Trump, who called the right-wing leader two days later his inauguration in 2017.
- Netanyahu acknowledged differences with Biden on Iranian and Palestinian issues, but said the two have a strong working relationship.
- Netanyahu could find the two-country alliance tested if Washington restores US participation in the Iran nuclear deal, from which Trump has withdrawn, and opposes Israeli settlement building on occupied land where Palestinians seek to become. a state.
- During his first stint as prime minister, Netanyahu addressed the US Congress, telling lawmakers “time is running out” to deal with Iran. “The deadline for achieving this goal is extremely close,” he said.
- Bibi does not believe that the leaders of the Islamic Republic are necessarily rational actors and has said that Iran poses an “existential threat” to Israel. He has threatened unilateral military action against Iran on several occasions.
- “As long as I am prime minister, Iran will not have an atomic bomb,” he said in 2013. “If there is no other way, Israel is ready to act [with force]. “
- Netanyahu was indicted in 2019 in long-standing cases involving gifts from millionaire friends and allegedly soliciting regulatory favors from media moguls in return for favorable coverage.
- The charges against him were at the heart of three elections in which no clear winner emerged.
- Netanyahu pleaded not guilty before a panel of three judges in a heavily guarded Jerusalem district court.
- The court ruled that trial evidence will be heard after the election, starting April 5.
- Netanyahu, who turned Israel’s global vaccine rollout into a showcase for his campaign in the country’s fourth national poll in two years, won victory over COVID-19 by making Israel a “vaccine nation.”
- About half of the population has been vaccinated at a rate that has drawn praise from the international community for Netanyahu, but also calls on Israel to do more to ensure Palestinians in the territories it occupies receive vaccines.
- Political opponents have said he mismanaged the pandemic from the start, stressing the need for three national lockdowns and accusing him of turning a blind eye to violators within the ultra-Orthodox community that provides a power base for its main coalition partners.