|“||There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the State of Israel would never have been established. But I say that if the State of Israel would have been established earlier, the Holocaust would not have occurred. This is the homeland of the Jewish people, this is where our identity was forged.||„|
|~ Netanyahu during his "Bar-Ilan speech" in June 2009|
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu (born October 21st, 1949) is the 9th and current Prime Minister of Israel, holding the position since 2009, and previously also from 1996 to 1999. He is also currently a member of the Knesset and the Chairman of the Likud party. He is the first Israeli Prime Minister born in Israel after the establishment of the state as well as the youngest Prime Minister ever elected (when he was first elected in 1996.)
Netanyahu was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Tzila Segal (28 August 1912 – 31 January 2000) who had been born in Petah Tikva in the Ottoman Empire's Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, and a Warsaw-born father, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu (1910–2012). He was the second of three children. He discovered via a DNA test that he is, in part, of Sephardi Jewish ancestry. He was initially raised and educated in Jerusalem, where he attended Henrietta Szold Elementary School. A copy of his evaluation from his 6th grade teacher Ruth Rubenstein indicated that Netanyahu was courteous, polite, and helpful; that his work was "responsible and punctual"; and that he was friendly, disciplined, cheerful, brave, active and obedient.
Between 1956 and 1958, and again from 1963 to 1967, his family lived in the United States in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, while father Benzion Netanyahu taught at Dropsie College. Benjamin attended and graduated from Cheltenham High School and was active in the debate club, chess club, and soccer.
He and his brother Yonatan grew dissatisfied with a perceived superficial way of life they encountered in the area, including the prevalent youth counterculture movement, literary interpretation focused on individualized feelings, and the liberal sensibilities of the Reform synagogue, Temple Judea of Philadelphia, that the family attended. To this day, he speaks fluent English, with a noticeable Philadelphia accent.
Prior to entering politics, Netanyahu previously served in the Israel Defense Forces from 1967 to 1973, taking part in combat operations during the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, and the Suez Canal Crisis, managing to attain the rank of captain before he was honorably discharged. He served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 until 1988, after which he first joined the Knesset as a member of Likud, becoming chairman in 1993.
Netanyahu is a controversial and polarizing figure. He is known to have a hardline stance against Palestine and has constantly fought against the recognition of a Palestinian state, notably being opposed to the Oslo Accords. Oppression of Palestinians is shown to have increased under him. In recent years, attacks carried out in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have caused some to go so far as accusing Netanyahu's government of committing war crimes against Palestinians and even committing ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide against Palestinians. This attitude may also extend to Arabs, as most Arab countries support Palestine. Both the United Nations and the US State Department have noted that Arabs face systemic discrimination in Israel and face longer prison terms if convicted of crimes than native Israelis.
In addition to his questionable treatment of Palestinians, Netanyahu has also faced numerous accusations of political corruption on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust, which Netanyahu himself has denied. Despite this, the Israeli attorney general announced his intention to file indictments against Netanyahu on bribe and fraud charges in three different cases in February 2019. This would make Netanyahu the first sitting Prime Minister in Israeli history to be indicted on criminal charges. On 21 November 2019, he was indicted on charges of breach of trust, bribery and fraud. Due to the indictment, Netanyahu is legally required to relinquish all of his ministry posts other than the prime minister position. Netanyahu is also being accused by various opposition parties and international critics of the Israeli government of conspiring war against Iran for the purpose of maintaining ongoing power.
Netanyahu is considered allies with a number of authoritarian world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He is also a strong ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
In spite of this, Netanyahu has done good things as well. He is supportive of the LGBT community and same-sex marriage, and is also credited with making important reforms to the Israeli economy.
Netanyau has been married three times. He has three children and several grandchildren. Netanyahu's paternal grandfather was Nathan Mileikowsky, a leading Zionist rabbi and JNF fundraiser. 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 of the Israel Defense Forces.
- Many people consider Netanyahu to be indirectly responsible for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin at the hands of Yigal Amir in 1995 (among them being Rabin's widow.) At the time, he was the public face of the anti-Oslo Accords movement and, in the months leading up to the assassination, gave many anti-Rabin speeches that created the atmosphere of tension leading to the assassination.
|“||I will plant them upon their soil never to be uprooted again. Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel have come home never to be uprooted again.||„|
|“||The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war.||„|
|“||History has shown us time and again that what is right is not what is popular.||„|
|“||Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel.||„|
- A Day With Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu TIME