Useful Notes: Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel and Chairman of the Likud Party. You might be surprised to learn that he's the first Israel-born Prime Minister since the founding of the state. No, Yitzhak Rabin doesn't count, because he was born in Jerusalem under the British Mandate of Palestine in 1922. The founding of Israel was in 1948. Indeed, Bibi is the only Prime Minister thus far who was actually born in the State of Israel; both Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert were born in the early-to-mid 1940s.

Netanyahu was once a captain in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit, participating in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War. He fought in the raids along the Suez Canal and led a commando team deep into Syrian territory, where it's rumored that he gained an aptitude for combat. His brother was the only IDF fatality in the hostage rescue at Entebbe; quite how much this affects his world view is a matter for debate.

He's currently on his second term, from 2009 onwards. His first - and very much unfavorable - term was from 1996 through 1999; he hired American Republican political operative Arthur Finkelstein to run his campaign. While very much criticized for his adoption of American-style sound bites and attack ads, it proved effective enough that it resulted in his election. In a touch of irony, Ehud Barak used this same method to oust Netanyahu from the position in the 1999 election. Netanyahu briefly retired from politics after he was defeated by Barak in the 1999 elections. His second term is marked by austerity, controversial stances regarding Palestine and a hawkish policy against Iran.

Netanyahu's infamous for repeatedly building settlements on Palestinian soil, and justifying his actions by claiming that it's Israeli, not Palestinian, land that he's building settlements on. Whether that's true or not has no place in this wiki, although we can safely say that both the Palestinians and The European Union disagree vehemently, while the US has questioned the wisdom of the move. Another controversy spawned when Netanyahu stated that he would accept a Palestinian state - but only if undivided Jerusalem remains the capital of Israel, the Palestinians disband their army and the Palestinians revoke their demand for a right of return.

Benjamin Netanyahu provides examples of:

  • Badass Baritone: A former Israeli special forces officer, Netanyahu has a very deep, gruffy voice, and also speaks English with an American accent, thanks to his years of living in the United States.