Benjamin Netanyahu

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Benjamin Netanyahu
בנימין נתניהו

Assumed office 
31 March 2009
President Shimon Peres
Preceded by Ehud Olmert
In office
18 June 1996 – 6 July 1999
President Ezer Weizman
Preceded by Shimon Peres
Succeeded by Ehud Barak

In office
28 March 2006 – 31 March 2009
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Ehud Olmert
Preceded by Amir Peretz
Succeeded by Tzipi Livni

In office
28 February 2003 – 9 August 2005
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Preceded by Silvan Shalom
Succeeded by Ehud Olmert

In office
6 November 2002 – 28 February 2003
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Preceded by Shimon Peres
Succeeded by Silvan Shalom

Born 21 October 1949 (1949-10-21) (age 70)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Political party Likud
Spouse(s) Miriam Weizmann (Before 1978)
Fleur Cates (1981–1984)
Sara Ben-Artzi (1991–present)
Children 3
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Religion Judaism
Military service
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch Israel Defence Forces
Rank Captain
Unit Sayeret Matkal
Battles/wars War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War

Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu (born October 21, 1949, Tel Aviv) is the Prime Minister of Israel.

He previously held the same position from June 1996 to July 1999 and is currently the Chairman of the Likud Party. Netanyahu is the first (and, to date, only) Israeli prime minister born after the State of Israel's foundation. Netanyahu was Foreign Minister (2002–2003) and Finance Minister (2003–August 2005) in Ariel Sharon's governments, but he departed over disagreements regarding the Gaza Disengagement Plan. He retook the Likud leadership on 20 December 2005. In the 2006 election, Likud did poorly, winning twelve seats. In December 2006, Netanyahu became the official Opposition Leader in the Knesset and Chairman of the Likud Party. In August 2007, he retained the Likud leadership by beating Moshe Feiglin in party elections. Following the 10 February 2009 parliamentary election, in which Likud placed second and right-wing parties won a majority,[1] Netanyahu formed a coalition government.[2][3] He is the brother of Israeli Special Forces commander Yonatan Netanyahu, who died during a hostage rescue mission, and Iddo Netanyahu, an Israeli author and playwright.


On August 22, 2014, Chilean congressman Hugo Gutierrez filed a lawsuit against Natenyahu for crimes against humanity.[4]

October 2014, he along with the Israeli government, promoted war-rape-advocate and Nakba denialist, Mordechai Kedar, as an expert on Palestinians.[5]

In the fall of 2014, he promoted a bill saying Israel is a nation state of the Jewish people.

Family and personal background

Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv, to Cela (Tsilah) (née Segal) and Benzion Netanyahu (original name Mileikowsky). His mother was also born in 1912 in Petach Tikvah in what would become Israel. Though all his grandparents were born in Lithuania, his mother's parents immigrated from Minneapolis, in the US.[6] Netanyahu's father (Benzion Netanyahu) is a professor of Jewish history, currently listed as a professor emeritus at Cornell University although the elder Netanyahu has remained active into his 90s in research and writing, a former editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia, and a former senior aide to Zeev Jabotinsky. When he was 14 years old, his family moved to the United States and settled in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb, where he graduated from Cheltenham High School. Netanyahu's older brother Yonatan was killed in Uganda during Operation Entebbe in 1976. His younger brother Iddo is a radiologist and writer. All three brothers served in the Sayeret Matkal reconnaissance unit, Benjamin Netanyahu from 1967 to 1972. He earned a B.S. degree in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975, and an M.S. degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1977, and has studied political science at Harvard and MIT. After graduate school, Netanyahu worked at The Boston Consulting Group in Boston, Massachusetts, and eventually returned to Israel. He has authored several books, including two on fighting terrorism. Netanyahu has a daughter, Noa, from his first marriage to Micki Weizman. His second marriage was to Fleur Cates, who converted to Judaism (only her father was a Jew). He is now married to his third wife, Sarah, with whom he has two sons, Yair and Avner.

After a brief career in business, Netanyahu was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. in 1982. Subsequently, he became Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, serving from 1984 to 1988. He was elected to the Knesset in 1988 and served in the governments led by Yitzhak Shamir from 1988 to 1992. Shamir retired from politics shortly after Likud's defeat in the 1992 elections. In 1993, for the first time, the party held a primary election to select its leader, and Netanyahu was victorious, defeating Benny Begin, son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and veteran politician David Levy. (Ariel Sharon initially sought the Likud leadership as well, but quickly withdrew when it was evident that he was attracting minimal support.)


"Once we squeeze all we can out of the United States, it can dry up and blow away."
—Netanyahu, the prime minister of "Israel" to Jonathan Pollard upon exiting Pollard's jail cell., [1]
"I call on all responsible elements within the international community not to hurry to recognize the Palestinian government that Hamas is part of."
—Benjamin Netanyahu, June 1, 2014.[2]
"Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to be possessed by the devil. He needs Pope Francis to exorcise it, to become appeased. Why doesn’t anyone condemn or sanction the state of Israel?"



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