Benjamin Netanyahu

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Benjamin Netanyahu
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{{redirect|Netanyahu|his brother, the commander of Operation Entebbe|Yonatan Netanyahu|other people with this name|Netanyahu (surname)}}{{Short description|Israeli prime minister}}{{pp-30-500|small=yes}}{{Use dmy dates|date=May 2017}}


| predecessor = Ehud Olmert
| successor =
| term_start1 = | term_end1 = | president1 = Ezer Weizman
| predecessor1 = Shimon Peres
| successor1 = Ehud Barak
| order2 = Chairman of Likud
| term_start2 = | term_end2 =
| predecessor2 = Ariel Sharon
| successor2 =
| term_start3 = | term_end3 = | predecessor3 = Yitzhak Shamir
| successor3 = Ariel Sharon
| birth_date = {{Birth date and age|1949|10|21|df=yes}}
| birth_place = Tel Aviv, Israel
| death_date =
| death_place =
| party = Likud
| otherparty =
| spouse = {hide}plainlist|
  • {{marriage|Miriam Weizmann|1972|1978|end=divorced{edih}
  • {{marriage|Fleur Cates|1981|1984|end=divorced}}
  • {{marriage|Sara Ben-Artzi|1991}}
| children = 3
| parents = {{unbulleted list|Benzion Netanyahu|Tzila Segal}}
| residence = Beit Aghion, Jerusalem
| alma_mater = {hide}plainlist|
| occupation = {{hlist|Politician|diplomat|writer|economic consultant|marketing executive}}
| signature = Benjamin Netanyahu Signature.svg
| website = {{URLweblink|}}
| allegiance = {{Flag|Israel}}
| branch = {{Flagdeco|Israel|tsahal}} Israeli Defense Forces
| serviceyears = 1967–1973
| rank = (File:IDF seren rotated.svg|border|23px) Seren (Captain)
| unit = Sayeret Matkal
| battles = {{unbulleted list|War of Attrition|Yom Kippur War}}|module=

embed yes

|ministeryears10 = 2013
Ministry of Communications (Israel)>Communications|ministeryears11 = 2014–2015Ministry for Social Equality>Pensioner Affairs|ministeryears12 = 2015Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel)>Foreign Affairs|ministeryears13 = 2015–2019Ministry of Economy (Israel)>Ministry of Health (Israel)>Regional Cooperation}}|ministeryears14 = 2015–2019Ministry of Defense (Israel)>DefenseMINISTERS BY MINISTRY >URL=HTTPS://WWW.KNESSET.GOV.IL/GOVT/ENG/GOVTBYMINISTRY_ENG.ASP?MINISTRY=1,, |ministeryears15 = 2018–}}}}Benjamin Netanyahu ({{hebrew audio|בִּנְיָמִין נְתַנְיָהוּ|He-Benjamin Netanyahu.ogg|link=yes}}; born 21 October 1949) is an Israeli politician who has been Prime Minister of Israel since 2009, having previously held the position from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu is also the Chairman of the Likud – National Liberal Movement. He is the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israeli history,WEB, Heller, Aron, Netanyahu makes history as Israel's longest-serving leader,weblink 17 July 2019, Associated Press, 17 July 2019, WEB, Williams, Dan, Bruised but driven, Netanyahu becomes Israel's longest-serving PM,weblink 18 July 2019, Reuters, 18 July 2019, WEB, Schwartz, Felicia, Benjamin Netanyahu Becomes Israel's Longest-Serving Premier Amid Political Storm,weblink 20 July 2019, The Wall Street Journal, 20 July 2019, and the first to be born in Israel after the establishment of the state.Born in Tel Aviv to secular Jewish parents and raised in both Jerusalem and Philadelphia, Netanyahu returned to Israel immediately upon graduating high school in 1967 to join the Israel Defense Forces shortly after the Six-Day War, and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit.MAGAZINE,weblink Bibi's Blues, David, Remnick, 23 January 2013, The New Yorker, David Remnick, WEB, Judy, Dempsey, 3 May 2012,weblink The Enduring Influence of Benjamin Netanyahu's Father, Carnegie Europe, Netanyahu took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder. Netanyahu fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory.WEB, Amir, Buhbut,weblink Sayeret Matkal is 50 years old, NRG Maariv, NEWS, Mitch, Ginsburg, 25 October 2012,weblink Saving Sergeant Netanyahu, The Times of Israel, Netanyahu achieved the rank of captain before being discharged. After graduating from MIT with a Bachelor of Science (SB) and a Master of Science (SM), Netanyahu became an economic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. Netanyahu moved back to Israel in 1978 to found the Yonatan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute, named after his brother Yonatan Netanyahu, who died leading Operation Entebbe.In 1984, Netanyahu was appointed the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, a role he held until 1988. He was subsequently elected to the Knesset, before becoming the leader of Likud in 1993; he led the party to victory at the 1996 election, becoming Israel's youngest-ever Prime Minister. After defeat in the 1999 election, Netanyahu left politics, returning to the private sector. He later returned to politics, serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance in the government of Ariel Sharon, but he would eventually resign over disagreements regarding the Gaza disengagement plan. As Finance Minister, Netanyahu initiated major reform of the Israeli economy, which was credited by commentators as having significantly improved Israel's subsequent economic performance.BOOK, Thomas G., Mitchell, Likud Leaders, McFarland (publishing), McFarland, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2015, 978-0786497133, 186, Netanyahu returned to the leadership of Likud in December 2005, after Sharon quit to form a new party, Kadima. Although Likud finished second in the 2009 election to Kadima, Netanyahu was able to form a coalition government with other right-wing parties, and was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second time.NEWS, Gil, Hoffman, Kadima wins, but rightist bloc biggest,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 10 February 2009, 17 June 2012, NEWS, Netanyahu sworn in as Israel's prime minister,weblink Haaretz, 31 March 2009, 10 March 2013, NEWS, Netanyahu sworn in as Israeli prime minister, Jeffrey, Heller,weblink Reuters, 31 March 2009, 10 March 2013, He went on to lead Likud to victory in the 2013 and 2015 elections.MAGAZINE, Amir, Tobin, Ben, Birnbaum, 20 March 2015,weblink 'Is This Ship Sinking?' Inside the Collapse of the Campaign Against Netanyahu, The New Yorker, Condé Nast, New York City, Since December 2016, Netanyahu has been under investigation by Israeli police and prosecutors for a number of alleged corruption scandals, culminating in the Attorney General announcing his intent to file indictments against him in 2019.After the April 2019 election resulted in no party being able to form a government, a second election took place in September 2019. The centrist Blue and White party emerged slightly ahead of Netanyahu's Likud. However, Israeli president Reuven Rivlin chose Netanyahu, who has the support of 55 MPs, to try to form a coalition.

Early life and military career

Netanyahu was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Tzila Segal (28 August 1912 â€“ 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.Itamar Eichner (25 May 2016) "Netanyahu: I have Sephardic roots as well", Ynetnews 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.NEWS,weblink PM was 'responsible' sixth-grader, evaluation shows, The Jerusalem Post, 28 August 2012, Lidman, Melanie, 30 August 2012, Between 1956 and 1958, and again from 1963 to 1967,NEWS,weblink Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 10 February 2012, Ynetnews, 9 March 2013, his family lived in the United States in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, while father Benzion Netanyahu taught at Dropsie College.NEWS, Moyer, Justin, March 3, 2015, Why Benjamin Netanyahu is so tough: He’s from Philadelphia,weblink The Washington Post,weblink March 5, 2015, March 5, 2015, 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.BOOK, Gresh, Alain, Vidal, Dominique, The New A-Z of the Middle East, 2nd, 2004, I.B. Tauris, 978-1-86064-326-2, 217, After graduating from high school in 1967, Netanyahu returned to Israel to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces. He trained as a combat soldier and served for five years in an elite special forces unit of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal. He took part in numerous cross-border assault raids during the 1967–70 War of Attrition, rising to become a team-leader in the unit. He was wounded in combat on multiple occasions. He was involved in many other missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), and the rescue of the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in May 1972 in which he was shot in the shoulder.NEWS, More than six decades on, Israel memorializes late commander of British Army's Jewish Unit, Yossi, Melman,weblink Haaretz, 18 November 2010, 17 March 2013,


File:MIT Building 10 and the Great Dome, Cambridge MA.jpg|thumb|Netanyahu studied at MIT between 1972 and 1976, earning SB and SM degrees.]]After completing his army service in 1972, Netanyahu returned to the United States in late 1972 to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He returned to Israel in October 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War in the Sayeret Matkal commando unit.NEWS, Professor recalls Netanyahu's intense studies in three fields, Charles H., Ball,weblink MIT Tech Talk, 5 June 1996, 17 March 2013, While there, he took part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal against the Egyptian forces, before leading a commando attack deep inside Syrian territory, whose mission remains classified today.NEWS, 13 September 2013,weblink 40 שנה לאחור: היכן היו אז, המנהיגים של היום?, he, 40 years ago: where were the leaders of today?, Walla!, He then returned to the United States and under the name Ben Nitay, completed an SB degreeWEB,weblink Enrollment Statistics, MIT Office of the Registrar, 17 October 2012, in architectureNEWS,weblink The MIT 150: 150 Ideas, Inventions, and Innovators that Helped Shape Our World, The Boston Globe, 15 May 2011, 8 August 2011, in February 1975 and earned an SM degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in June 1976. Concurrently, he was studying towards a doctorate in political science,Cathy Hartley, David Lea, Paul Cossali, Annamarie Rowe, Survey of Arab-Israeli Relations (Taylor & Francis, 2004), p. 522NEWS,weblink Profile: Benjamin Netanyahu, 20 February 2009, BBC News Online, 9 March 2013, until his studies were broken off by the death of his brother in Operation Entebbe.At MIT, Netanyahu studied a double-load, completing an SM (that would normally take four years) in only two and a half years, despite taking a break to fight in the Yom Kippur War, and while simultaneously completing a thesis in a graduate course at Harvard. Professor Groisser at MIT recalled: "He did superbly. He was very bright. Organized. Strong. Powerful. He knew what he wanted to do and how to get it done."At that time he changed his name to Benjamin Ben Nitai (Nitai, a reference to both Mount Nitai and to the eponymous Jewish sage Nittai of Arbela, was a pen name often used by his father for articles).WEB, Young Netanyahu Debates,weblink, 6 April 2013, Years later, in an interview with the media, Netanyahu clarified that he decided to do so to make it easier for Americans to pronounce his name. This fact has been used by his political rivals to accuse him indirectly of a lack of Israeli national identity and loyalty.BOOK, Ariel, Mira, Pragmatics and Grammar, Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics, 2008, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-55018-5, In 1976 Netanyahu's older brother Yonatan Netanyahu was killed. Yonatan was serving as the commander of Benjamin's former unit, the Sayeret Matkal, and died during the counter-terrorism hostage-rescue mission Operation Entebbe in which his unit rescued more than 100 mostly Israeli hostages hijacked by terrorists and flown to the Entebbe Airport in Uganda.In 1976 Netanyahu graduated near the top of his class at the MIT Sloan School of Management,NEWS, A Friendship Dating From 1976 Resonates in 2012, Barbaro, Michael,weblink The New York Times, 7 April 2012, 7 April 2012, and was headhunted to be an economic consultantMazal Mualem (30 September 2014), "Netanyahu's rhetoric brings same old message" {{Webarchive|url= |date=28 March 2015 }}, Al-Monitor's Israel Pulse for the Boston Consulting Group in Boston, Massachusetts, working at the company between 1976 and 1978. At the Boston Consulting Group, he was a colleague of Mitt Romney, with whom he formed a lasting friendship. Romney remembers that Netanyahu at the time was: "[A] strong personality with a distinct point of view", and says "[w]e can almost speak in shorthand... [w]e share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar." Netanyahu said that their "easy communication" was a result of "B.C.G.'s intellectually rigorous boot camp".In 1978, Netanyahu appeared on Boston local television, under the name of "Ben Nitai", where he argued: "The real core of the conflict is the unfortunate Arab refusal to accept the State of Israel ... For 20 years the Arabs had both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and if self-determination, as they now say, is the core of the conflict, they could have easily established a Palestinian state."{{YouTube|9uaXoMIh2tc|Video Benjamin Netanyahu 1978}}(English);Who is Ben Nitay, and why does he look so much like Binyamin Netanyahu? Jerusalem PostFile:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Benjamin Netanyahu and Sorin Hershko.jpg|thumb|upright|Netanyahu (right) with Sorin Hershko, a soldier wounded and permanently paralyzed in Operation EntebbeOperation EntebbeIn 1978, Netanyahu returned to Israel. Between 1978 and 1980 he ran the Jonathan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute, a non-governmental organization devoted to the study of terrorism; the Institute held a number of international conferences focused on the discussion of international terrorism. Talking about a December 1979 conference, attended by the likes of George H.W. Bush and Senator Henry M. Jackson, the investigative journalist Max Blumenthal says that Netanyahu's aim was, after the Islamic revolution of Iran in 1979 which created "anxiety" in Israel, to "internationalize the Israeli understanding of terrorism", which he considers the clash of civilizations narrative and "the crude mantra of the post-9/11 era in America."Max Blumenthal, The Management of Savagery, Verso Books (2019), pp. 7-8 From 1980 to 1982 he was director of marketing for Rim Industries in Jerusalem.Shirley Anne Warshaw, The Clinton Years, (Infobase Publishing, 2009), p. 240 During this period Netanyahu made his first connections with several Israeli politicians, including Minister Moshe Arens, who appointed him as his Deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., a position he held from 1982 until 1984.WEB,weblink, Benjamin Netanyahu, 18 November 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 November 2012, dmy, Between 1984 and 1988 Netanyahu served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. Netanyahu was influenced by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, with whom he formed a relationship during the 1980s. He referred to Schneerson as "the most influential man of our time".David Singer, American Jewish Yearbook 1998. AJC, 1998. pp. 133–34WEB,weblink Truth vs. Darkness in the United Nations, Netanyahu, Benjamin, 24 September 2009,, 17 March 2013, AV MEDIA, Netanyahu, Benjamin, 2011, The Light of Truth at the UN, Speech,weblink, New York City, 17 March 2013, It was while living in New York during the 1980s that Netanyahu became friends with Fred Trump, the father of Donald Trump.Gabriel Sherman (1 June 2016), "Trump Is Considering a Pre-Convention Visit to Israel" New York

Chairman of Likud

Prior to the 1988 Israeli legislative election Netanyahu returned to Israel and joined the Likud party. In the Likud's internal elections, Netanyahu was placed fifth on the party list. Later on he was elected as a Knesset member of the 12th Knesset, and was appointed as a deputy of the foreign minister Moshe Arens, and later on David Levy. Netanyahu and Levy did not cooperate and the rivalry between the two only intensified afterwards. During the Gulf War in early 1991, the English-fluent Netanyahu emerged as the principal spokesman for Israel in media interviews on CNN and other news outlets. During the Madrid Conference of 1991 Netanyahu was a member of the Israeli delegation headed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. After the Madrid Conference Netanyahu was appointed as Deputy Minister in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office.Following the defeat of the Likud party in the 1992 Israeli legislative elections the Likud party held a primary election in 1993 to select its leader, and Netanyahu was victorious, defeating Benny Begin, son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and veteran politician David LevyNEWS, Netanyahu wins battle for leadership of Likud,weblink The Independent, London, 26 March 1993, 11 August 2009, (Sharon initially sought Likud party leadership as well, but quickly withdrew when it was evident that he was attracting minimal support). Shamir retired from politics shortly after the Likud's defeat in the 1992 elections.NEWS, Yitzhak Shamir, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Dies at 96, Joel, Brinkley, Joel Brinkley,weblink The New York Times, 30 June 2012, 17 March 2013, Following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, his temporary successor Shimon Peres decided to call early elections in order to give the government a mandate to advance the peace process.NEWS, Israeli elections will test support for peace, Jerrold, Kessel,weblink CNN, 11 February 1996, 10 March 2013, Netanyahu was the Likud's candidate for Prime Minister in the 1996 Israeli legislative election which took place on 26 May 1996 and were the first Israeli elections in which Israelis elected their Prime Minister directly. Netanyahu hired American Republican political operative Arthur Finkelstein to run his campaign, and although the American style of sound bites and sharp attacks elicited harsh criticism, it proved effective. When Netanyahu won the 1996 election, he became the youngest person in the history of the position and the first Israeli Prime Minister to be born in the State of Israel (Yitzhak Rabin was born in Jerusalem, under the British Mandate of Palestine, prior to the 1948 founding of the Israeli state).Netanyahu's victory over the pre-election favorite Shimon Peres surprised many. The main catalyst in the downfall of the latter was a wave of suicide bombings shortly before the elections; on 3 and 4 March 1996, Palestinians carried out two suicide bombings, killing 32 Israelis, with Peres seemingly unable to stop the attacks. Unlike Peres, Netanyahu did not trust Yasser Arafat and conditioned any progress at the peace process on the Palestinian National Authority fulfilling its obligations – mainly fighting terrorism, and ran with the campaign slogan "Netanyahu – making a safe peace". However, although Netanyahu won the election for Prime Minister, Labor won the Knesset elections, beating the Likud–Gesher–Tzomet alliance, meaning Netanyahu had to rely on a coalition with the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and UTJ (whose social welfare policies flew in the face of his capitalistic outlook) in order to govern.{{Citation needed|date=October 2011}}

First term as Prime Minister

{{Further|Twenty-seventh government of Israel}}File:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - P.M. BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SHAKING HANDS WITH PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN YASSER ARAFAT.jpg|thumb |upright |Netanyahu's first meeting with Palestinian President Yasser ArafatYasser ArafatA spate of suicide bombings reinforced the Likud position for security. Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the bombings. As Prime Minister, Netanyahu raised many questions about many central premises of the Oslo Accords. One of his main points was disagreement with the Oslo premise that the negotiations should proceed in stages, meaning that concessions should be made to Palestinians before any resolution was reached on major issues, such as the status of Jerusalem, and the amending of the Palestinian National Charter. Oslo supporters had claimed that the multi-stage approach would build goodwill among Palestinians and would propel them to seek reconciliation when these major issues were raised in later stages. Netanyahu said that these concessions only gave encouragement to extremist elements, without receiving any tangible gestures in return. He called for tangible gestures of Palestinian goodwill in return for Israeli concessions. Despite his stated differences with the Oslo Accords, Prime Minister Netanyahu continued their implementation, but his Premiership saw a marked slow-down in the peace process.In 1996, Netanyahu and Jerusalem's mayor Ehud Olmert decided to open an exit in the Arab Quarter for the Western Wall Tunnel, which prior Prime Minister Shimon Peres had instructed to be put on hold for the sake of peace.WEB,weblink Israel Opens Disputed Tunnel, Morris, Nomi, Silver, Eric, 7 October 1996, Maclean's, 9 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 October 2012, This sparked three days of rioting by Palestinians, resulting in dozens of both Israelis and Palestinians being killed.WEB, Step Inside The Hidden Tunnels Under Jerusalem's Sacred Western Wall, Grace, Wyler,weblink Business Insider, 31 January 2013, 10 March 2013, Netanyahu first met Palestinian President Arafat on 4 September 1996. Prior to the meeting, the two leaders spoke by telephone.Arafat, Netanyahu shake hands, begin talks 4 September 1996, CNN The meetings would continue through Autumn 1996. On their first meeting, Netanyahu said: "I would like to emphasize that we have to take into account the needs and the requirements of both sides on the basis of reciprocity and the assurance of the security and well-being of both Israelis and Palestinian alike." Arafat said: "We are determined to work with Mr. Netanyahu and with his government."Joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA Chairman Arafat, 4 September 1996 VOLUME 16: 1996-1997, Ministry of Foreign Affairs The talks culminated on 14 January 1997, in the signing of the Hebron Protocol.Netanyahu, Arafat shake hands on Hebron accord 14 January 1997, CNN The signing of the Hebron Protocol with the Palestinian Authority resulted in the redeployment of Israeli forces in Hebron and the turnover of civilian authority in much of the area to the control of the Palestinian Authority.File:Houghton house Netanyahu Albright Arafat.jpg|thumb|Netanyahu sitting with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at the Wye River MemorandumWye River MemorandumEventually, the lack of progress of the peace process led to new negotiations which produced the Wye River Memorandum in 1998 which detailed the steps to be taken by the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority to implement the earlier Interim Agreement of 1995. It was signed by Netanyahu and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, and on 17 November 1998, Israel's 120 member parliament, the Knesset, approved the Wye River Memorandum by a vote of 75–19. As Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized a policy of "three no(s)": no withdrawal from the Golan Heights, no discussion of the case of Jerusalem, no negotiations under any preconditions.Hawas, Akram T. The new alliance: Turkey and Israel {{webarchive|url= |date=22 February 2011 }}. The fourth Nordic conference on Middle Eastern Studies: The Middle East in globalizing world. Oslo, 13–16 August 1998.In 1997, Netanyahu authorized a Mossad operation to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Jordan, just 3 years after the two countries had signed a peace treaty.NEWS,weblink Khaled Meshaal: How Mossad bid to assassinate Hamas leader ended in fiasco, The Telegraph, 7 December 2012, 4 May 2019, The Mossad team, covering as five Canadian tourists, entered Jordan on 27 September 1997 and injected poison into Mashal's ears in a street in Amman. The plot was exposed and two agents were arrested by the Jordanian police while three others hid in the Israeli embassy which was then surrounded by troops. An angry King Hussein demanded Israel to give out the antidote and threatened to annul the peace treaty. Netanyahu relented to the demands after pressure by US President Bill Clinton and ordered the release of 61 Jordanian and Palestinian prisoners including Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. The incident sent the nascent Israeli-Jordanian relations plummeting.BOOK,weblink Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace, Second Edition: Patterns, Problems, Possibilities, Laura Zittrain Eisenberg, Neil Caplan, 130, Indiana University Press, 14 July 2010, 4 May 2019, 978-0253004574, During his term, Netanyahu also began a process of economic liberalization, taking steps towards a free-market economy. Under his watch, the government began selling its shares in banks and major state-run companies. Netanyahu also greatly eased Israel's strict foreign exchange controls, enabling Israelis to take an unrestricted amount of money out of the country, open foreign bank accounts, hold foreign currency, and invest freely in other countries.NEWS,weblink Israel Reforms Economy on Eve of Independence Day, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, NEWS,weblink In Fight Over Privatization, Netanyahu Wins a Round, 26 July 1997, The New York Times, Serge, Schmemann, (File:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - P.M. Netanyahu Visiting the Western Wall.jpg|thumb|upright|Prime Minister Netanyahu, with his son, at the Western Wall in 1998.)Throughout his term, Netanyahu was opposed by the political left wing in Israel and lost support from the right because of his concessions to the Palestinians in Hebron and elsewhere, and due to his negotiations with Arafat generally. Netanyahu lost favor with the Israeli public after a long chain of scandals involving his marriage and corruption charges. In 1997, police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges for influence-peddling. He was accused of appointing an attorney general who would reduce the charges but prosecutors ruled that there was insufficient evidence to go to trial.NEWS,weblink Los Angeles Times, 29 March 2000, Tracy, Wilkinson, Israeli Police Want Netanyahu, Wife Indicted Over Handling of State Gifts, 11 July 2011, In 1999, Netanyahu faced another scandal when the Israel Police recommended that he be tried for corruption for $100,000 in free services from a government contractor; Israel's attorney general did not prosecute, citing difficulties with evidence.NEWS,weblink CBS News, 11 February 2009, Netanyahu Corruption Charges Dropped, 11 July 2011,

Election defeat

After being defeated by Ehud Barak in the 1999 election for Prime Minister, Netanyahu temporarily retired from politics.NEWS, Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud,weblink Ynetnews, 28 March 2005, 5 August 2009, He subsequently served as a senior consultant with Israeli communications equipment manufacturer BATM Advanced Communications for two years.NEWS, Netanyahu Now High-Tech Consultant,weblink Los Angeles Times, 3 August 1999, Associated Press, 20 September 2012, NEWS, Freund, Oren, he:חברת העבר של בנימין נתניהו נרשמה למסחר בבורסה בת"א,weblink TheMarker, 19 September 2012, He, Past company of Benjamin Netanyahu listed for trade on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, 16 March 2010, With the fall of the Barak government in late 2000, Netanyahu expressed his desire to return to politics. By law, Barak's resignation was supposed to lead to elections for the prime minister position only. Netanyahu insisted that general elections should be held, claiming that otherwise it would be impossible to have a stable government. Netanyahu decided eventually not to run for the prime minister position, a move which facilitated the surprising rise to power of Ariel Sharon, who at the time was considered less popular than Netanyahu. In 2002, after the Israeli Labor Party left the coalition and vacated the position of foreign minister, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appointed Netanyahu as Foreign Minister. Netanyahu challenged Sharon for the leadership of the Likud party, but failed to oust Sharon.NEWS, Sharon Beats Netanyahu in Likud Primary,weblink Fox News Channel, 28 November 2002, 29 July 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 28 August 2008, dead, dmy-all, On 9 September 2002, a scheduled speech by Netanyahu at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada was canceled after hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters overwhelmed security and smashed through a glass window. Netanyahu was not present at the protest, having remained at Montreal's Ritz-Carlton Hotel throughout the duration. He later accused the activists of supporting terrorism and "mad zealotry".WEB,weblink Concordia University Imposes Ban on Middle East Events, Canadian Association of University Teachers, 4 March 2013, Weeks later on 1 October 2002 around 200 protesters met Netanyahu outside his Heinz Hall appearance in Pittsburgh although Pittsburgh Police, Israeli security and a Pittsburgh SWAT unit allowed his speeches to continue downtown at the hall and the Duquesne Club as well as suburban Robert Morris University.NEWS, Netanyahu says U.S. should topple Saddam, Steve, Levin, Dennis, Roddy, Bill, Schackner, Nate, Guidry,weblink Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 October 2002, 1 March 2013, On 12 September 2002, Netanyahu testified (under oath as a private citizen) before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding the nuclear threat posed by the Iraqi régime: "There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons – no question whatsoever," he said. "And there is no question that once he acquires it, history shifts immediately."NEWS, Iraq 2002, Iran 2012: Compare and contrast Netanyahu's speeches,weblink Haaretz, 18 November 2013, In his testimony, Netanyahu also said, "If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region."NEWS,weblink Kerry Reminds Congress Netanyahu Advised U.S. to Invade Iraq, 2015-02-25, The New York Times, 2018-05-09, en-US, 0362-4331,

Minister of Finance

After the 2003 Israeli legislative election, in what many observers regarded as a surprise move, Sharon offered the Foreign Ministry to Silvan Shalom and offered Netanyahu the Finance Ministry. Some pundits speculated that Sharon made the move because he deemed Netanyahu a political threat given his demonstrated effectiveness as Foreign Minister, and that by placing him in the Finance Ministry during a time of economic uncertainty, he could diminish Netanyahu's popularity. Netanyahu accepted the new appointment. Sharon and Netanyahu came to an agreement that Netanyahu would have complete freedom as Finance Minister and have Sharon back all of his reforms, in exchange for Netanyahu's silence over Sharon's management of Israel's military and foreign affairs.NEWS,weblink 3 economic lessons from Ariel Sharon, Amotz, Asa-El, MarketWatch, As Finance Minister, Netanyahu undertook an economic plan in order to restore Israel's economy from its low point during the Second Intifada. Netanyahu claimed that a bloated public sector and excessive regulations were largely responsible for stifling economic growth. His plan involved a move toward more liberalized markets, although it was not without its critics. He instituted a program to end welfare dependency by requiring people to apply for jobs or training, reduced the size of the public sector, froze government spending for three years, and capped the budget deficit at 1%. The taxation system was streamlined and taxes were cut, with the top individual tax rate reduced from 64% to 44% and the corporate tax rate from 36% to 18%. A host of state assets worth billions of dollars were privatized, including banks, oil refineries, the El Al national airline, and Zim Integrated Shipping Services. The retirement ages for both men and women were raised, and currency exchange laws were further liberalized. Commercial banks were forced to spin off their long-term savings. In addition, Netanyahu attacked monopolies and cartels to increase competition. As the Israeli economy started booming and unemployment fell significantly, Netanyahu was widely credited by commentators as having performed an 'economic miracle' by the end of his tenure.Likud Leaders, Thomas G. Mitchell, McFarland, (March 2015), Chapter 10MAGAZINE,weblink Netanyahu's Economic Reforms And The Laffer Curve, Forbes, However, opponents in the Labor party (and even a few within his own Likud) viewed Netanyahu's policies as "Thatcherite" attacks on the venerated Israeli social safety net.NEWS, Gil, Hoffman, Netanyahu: Sharon is a dictator,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 21 November 2005, 17 June 2012, Ultimately, unemployment declined while economic growth soared, the debt-to-GDP ratio dropped to one of the lowest in the world, and foreign investment reached record highs.Netanyahu threatened to resign from office in 2004 unless the Gaza pullout plan was put to a referendum. He later modified the ultimatum and voted for the program in the Knesset, indicating immediately thereafter that he would resign unless a referendum was held within 14 days.NEWS, Knesset approves PM Sharon's disengagement plan, Gideon, Alon, Mazal, Mualem, Nadav, Shragai,weblink Haaretz, 26 October 2004, 10 March 2013, He submitted his resignation letter on 7 August 2005, shortly before the Israeli cabinet voted 17 to 5 to approve the initial phase of withdrawal from Gaza.NEWS, Stephen, Farrell, Netanyahu resigns from Cabinet over Gaza withdrawal,weblink The Times, London, 8 August 2005, 29 July 2009,

Return to leadership of Likud

Following the withdrawal of Sharon from the Likud, Netanyahu was one of several candidates who vied for the Likud leadership. His most recent attempt prior to this was in September 2005 when he had tried to hold early primaries for the position of the head of the Likud party, while the party held the office of Prime Minister – thus effectively pushing Ariel Sharon out of office. The party rejected this initiative. Netanyahu retook the leadership on 20 December 2005, with 47% of the primary vote, to 32% for Silvan Shalom and 15% for Moshe Feiglin.NEWS, Netanyahu elected as Likud party chairman,weblink Xinhua News Agency, 20 December 2005, 27 July 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 February 2006, dmy-all, In the March 2006 Knesset elections, Likud took the third place behind Kadima and Labor and Netanyahu served as Leader of the Opposition.NEWS, Marciano, Ilan, Likud stunned by collapse,weblink Ynetnews, 28 March 2006, 27 July 2009, On 14 August 2007, Netanyahu was reelected as chairman of the Likud and its candidate for the post of Prime Minister with 73% of the vote, against far-right candidate Moshe Feiglin and World Likud chairman Danny Danon.NEWS, Netanyahu wins Likud leadership,weblink BBC News, 15 August 2007, 11 August 2009, He opposed the 2008 Israel–Hamas ceasefire, like others in the Knesset opposition. Specifically, Netanyahu said, "This is not a relaxation, it's an Israeli agreement to the rearming of Hamas ... What are we getting for this?"NEWS, Mitnick, Joshua, Olmert: Truce with Hamas 'fragile',weblink The Washington Times, 20 June 2008, 29 July 2009, In the first half of 2008, doctors removed a small colon polyp that proved to be benign.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu Undergoes Medical Examination, 4 October 2009, Arutz Sheva, 15 October 2009, Following Tzipi Livni's election to head Kadima and Olmert's resignation from the post of Prime Minister, Netanyahu declined to join the coalition Livni was trying to form and supported new elections, which were held in February 2009.NEWS, Tran, Mark, Netanyahu calls for new Israeli elections,weblink The Guardian, London, 31 July 2008, 29 July 2009, NEWS, Netanyahu rejects Livni's call for unity government, Mazal, Mualem,weblink Haaretz, 24 September 2008, 1 March 2013, Netanyahu was the Likud's candidate for Prime Minister in the 2009 Israeli legislative election which took place on 10 February 2009, as Livni, the previous Designated Acting Prime Minister under the Olmert government, had been unable to form a viable governing coalition. Opinion polls showed Likud in the lead, but with as many as a third of Israeli voters undecided.NEWS, Marie, Colvin, Netanyahu stokes fears to take poll lead,weblink The Sunday Times, London, 8 February 2009, 8 February 2009, In the election itself, Likud won the second highest number of seats, Livni's party having outnumbered the Likud by one seat. A possible explanation for Likud's relatively poor showing is that some Likud supporters defected to Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party. Netanyahu, however, claimed victory on the basis that right-wing parties won the majority of the vote, and on 20 February 2009, Netanyahu was designated by Israeli President Shimon Peres to succeed Ehud Olmert as prime minister, and began his negotiations to form a coalition government.Despite right wing parties winning a majority of 65 seats in the Knesset, Netanyahu preferred a broader centrist coalition and turned to his Kadima rivals, chaired by Tzipi Livni, to join his government. This time it was Livni's turn to decline to join, with a difference of opinion on how to pursue the peace process being the stumbling block. Netanyahu did manage to entice a smaller rival, the Labour party, chaired by Ehud Barak, to join his government, giving him a certain amount of centrist tone. Netanyahu presented his cabinet for a Knesset "Vote of Confidence" on 31 March 2009. The 32nd Government was approved that day by a majority of 69 lawmakers to 45 (with five abstaining) and the members were sworn in.

Second term as Prime Minister

{{Further|Thirty-second government of Israel}}File:Med-Netan.jpeg|thumb|Netanyahu in a meeting with President Dmitry MedvedevDmitry MedvedevFile:Yohanan Danino & Benyamin Netenyahu.jpg|thumb|Netanyahu with Yohanan DaninoYohanan DaninoIn 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced support for the establishment of a Palestinian state—a solution not endorsed by prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu,NEWS,weblink Clinton pledges to press for Palestinian state, The Daily Times, Pakistan, 4 March 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 January 2012, dmy, with whom she had earlier pledged the United States' cooperation.NEWS, In Israel, Clinton pledges to work with new government,weblink The New York Times, 3 March 2009, 16 March 2013, Upon the arrival of President Obama administration's special envoy, George Mitchell, Netanyahu said that any furtherance of negotiations with the Palestinians would be conditioned on the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.WEB, Israel demands Palestinians recognize Jewish state, Ari, Rabinovitch,weblink International Business Times, 16 April 2009, 16 March 2013, During President Obama's Cairo speech on 4 June 2009 in which Obama addressed the Muslim world, Obama stated, among other things, "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Following Obama's Cairo speech Netanyahu immediately called a special government meeting. On 14 June, ten days after Obama's Cairo speech, Netanyahu gave a speech at Bar-Ilan University in which he endorsed a "Demilitarized Palestinian State", though said that Jerusalem must remain the unified capital of Israel.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu backs demilitarized Palestinian state, 14 June 2009, Haaretz, 14 May 2012, Netanyahu stated that he would accept a Palestinian state if Jerusalem were to remain the united capital of Israel, the Palestinians would have no army, and the Palestinians would give up their demand for a right of return. He also argued the right for a "natural growth" in the existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank while their permanent status is up to further negotiation. Senior Palestinian official, Sereb Ereket, said that the speech had "closed the door to permanent status negotiations" due to Netanyahu's declarations on Jerusalem, refugees and settlements.{{Better source|reason=I have just read the source and I think this sentence misrepresents what the source (from AP) says. In the source, it says that Benjamin Netanyahu actually reversed his position, so no renewal, among other things|date=March 2012}}Three months after starting his term, Netanyahu remarked that his cabinet already had achieved several notable successes, such as the establishment of a working national unity government, and a broad consensus for a "two-state solution".NEWS, Netanyahu: We have consensus on two-state solution, Barak, Ravid,weblink Haaretz, 5 July 2009, 16 March 2013, A July 2009 survey by Ha'aretz found that most Israelis supported the Netanyahu government, giving him a personal approval rating of about 49 percent.NEWS, Poll Gives Netanyahu Positive Marks Despite Rift with US, Robert, Berger,weblink Voice of America, 3 July 2009, 1 March 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 24 January 2013, dead, Netanyahu has lifted checkpoints in the West Bank in order to allow freedom of movement and a flow of imports; a step that resulted in an economic boost in the West Bank.NEWS, Nablus booms as barriers fall in occupied West Bank, Leigh, Baldwin,weblink The Daily Star, Lebanon, 11 August 2009, 16 March 2013, NEWS, Thomas Friedman, Green Shoots in Palestine II,weblink The New York Times, 9 August 2009, 9 August 2009, Thomas Friedman, NEWS, Khaled, Abu Toameh, West Bank boom,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 17 July 2009, 17 June 2012, In 2009, Netanyahu welcomed the Arab Peace initiative (also known as the "Saudi Peace Initiative") and lauded a call by Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to normalize relations with Israel.NEWS, Netanyahu supports Arab peace initiative,weblink United Press International, 24 July 2009, 9 August 2009, NEWS, Netanyahu to Arabs: Saudi plan can help bring peace, Barak, Ravid,weblink Haaretz, 23 July 2009, 16 March 2013, In August 2009, Abbas declared that he would be willing to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly, where Netanyahu had accepted president Obama's invitation for a "triple summit", although he said it would not necessarily lead to negotiations.NEWS,weblink Palestinians: Abbas open to meeting with Netanyahu, Waked, Ali, 26 September 2009, Ynetnews, 4 September 2009, Netanyahu was reported to be in a pivotal moment over these understandings, that were reported to include a compromise over permission on continuing the already approved construction in the West Bank in exchange for freezing all settlements thereafter, as well as continuing building in East Jerusalem, and at the same time stopping the demolition of houses of Arab inhabitants there.NEWS,weblink he:התוכנית האמריקאית: פסגה צנועה והצהרת עקרונות, Bengal, Mia, 2 September 2009, Maariv, Hebrew, 4 September 2009, On 4 September 2009, it was reported that Netanyahu was to agree to settlers' political demands to approve more settlement constructions before a temporary settlement freeze agreement took place.NEWS, Israel to Approve More Settlement Construction Before Freeze, Robert, Berger,weblink Voice of America, 4 September 2009, 1 March 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 4 October 2013, dead, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs expressed "regret" over the move;NEWS, US, EU slam Netanyahu's approval of construction, Yitzhak, Benhorin,weblink Ynetnews, 4 September 2009, 16 March 2013, however, one U.S. official said the move will not "derail [the] train".NEWS,weblink U.S official.: Settlement move won't 'derail train', Smith, Ben, 4 September 2009, Politico, 4 September 2009, On 7 September 2009, Netanyahu left his office without reporting where he was headed. The prime minister's military secretary, Maj. Gen. Meir Kalifi, later reported Netanyahu had visited a security facility in Israel.NEWS,weblink Report: PM held secret talks in Russia, 10 September 2009, Ynetnews, 11 September 2009, Several different news agencies reported several different stories about where he was.NEWS,weblink Palestinian paper: Netanyahu visited Arab state, 8 September 2009, Ynetnews, 11 September 2009, On 9 September 2009, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the Israeli leader had made a secret flight to Moscow to try to persuade Russian officials not to sell S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran.NEWS, Netanyahu secretly visited Russia: reports, Amie, Ferris-Rotman, Jeffrey, Heller, Philippa, Fletcher,weblink Reuters, 9 September 2009, 16 March 2013, NEWS, Netanyahu absence sparks rumours of Russia visit, Vita, Bekker, Charles, Clover, Stefan, Wagstyl,weblink Financial Times, 11 September 2009, 10 March 2013, Headlines branded Netanyahu a "liar" and dubbed the affair a "fiasco".NEWS, Netanyahu draws fire in Israel over secret trip, Jeffrey, Heller,weblink Reuters, 10 September 2009, 16 March 2013, NEWS, Israeli PM's secret trip irks media,weblink Al Jazeera English, 11 September 2009, 16 March 2013, It was later reported that the PM's military secretary would be dismissed due to the affair.NEWS, Netanyahu aide likely to pay price for 'secret' Russia trip, Amos, Harel, Amos Harel,weblink Haaretz, 11 September 2009, 1 March 2013, The Sunday Times reported that the trip was made to share the names of Russian scientists that Israel believes are abetting the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program.NEWS, Uzi, Mahnaimi, Franchetti, Mark, Swain, Jon, Israel names Russians helping Iran build nuclear bomb,weblink The Sunday Times, London, 4 October 2009, 4 October 2009, On 24 September 2009, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Netanyahu said Iran poses a threat to the peace of the world and that it is incumbent on the world body to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons.NEWS, Netanyahu speech / PM slams Gaza probe, challenges UN to confront Iran,weblink Haaretz, 24 September 2009, 16 March 2013, NEWS,weblink PM to UN: Iran fueled by fundamentalism, 24 September 2009, Ynetnews, 24 September 2009, Waving the blueprints for Auschwitz and invoking the memory of his own family members murdered by the Nazis, Netanyahu delivered a passionate and public riposte to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's questioning of the Holocaust, asking: "Have you no shame?"NEWS, Israel's Netanyahu hits back at Iran's Holocaust claims,weblink 3 News, 25 September 2009, 1 March 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 4 October 2013, dead, dmy-all, In response to pressure from the Obama administration urging the sides to resume peace talks, on 25 November 2009 Netanyahu announced a partial 10-month settlement construction freeze plan. The announced partial freeze had no significant effect on actual settlement construction, according to an analysis by the major Israeli daily Haaretz.NEWS, Haaretz, 27 November 2009, Analysis: Settlers Have Been Working for Months to Undermine Construction Freeze, Situation on the Ground Suggests that There Will Be Nearly No Change in Settlement Construction,weblink U.S. special envoy George Mitchell said, "while the United States shares Arab concerns about the limitations of Israel's gesture, it is more than any Israeli government has ever done".NEWS, US Welcomes Israeli Settlement Move, Urges Palestinians to Enter Negotiations, David, Gollust,weblink Voice of America, 25 November 2009, 16 March 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 4 October 2013, dead, In his announcement Netanyahu called the move "a painful step that will encourage the peace process" and urged the Palestinians to respond.NEWS, Cabinet votes on 10-month building freeze, Roni, Sofer,weblink Ynetnews, 25 November 2009, 16 March 2013, The Palestinians rejected the call, stating the gesture was "insignificant" in that thousands of recently approved settlement buildings in the West Bank would continue to be built and there would be no freeze of settlement activity in East Jerusalem.NEWS,weblink Palestinians reject Netanyahu's offer of partial settlement freeze, 26 November 2009, France 24, 14 December 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 November 2009, In March 2010, Israel's government approved construction of an additional 1,600 apartments in a large Jewish housing development in northern East Jerusalem called Ramat ShlomoNEWS,weblink 'We'll prevent future embarrassments', 14 March 2010, The Jerusalem Post, 17 March 2010, despite the position of the current U.S. Government that acts such as this thwart the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The Israeli government's announcement occurred during a visit by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden and the U.S. government subsequently issued a strongly worded condemnation of the plan.NEWS,weblink Anger in Ramat Shlomo as settlement row grows, 16 March 2010, The Times, London, Sheera, Frenkel, 16 March 2010, Netanyahu subsequently issued a statement that all previous Israeli governments had continuously permitted construction in the neighborhood, and that certain neighborhoods such as Ramat Shlomo and Gilo have always been included as part of Israel in any final agreement plan that has been proposed by either side to date. Netanyahu regretted the timing of the announcement but asserted that "our policy on Jerusalem is the same policy followed by all Israeli governments for the 42 years, and it has not changed."NEWS, Netanyahu and Obama to meet Tuesday in Washington, Barak, Ravid, Natasha, Mozgovaya, Natasha Mozgovaya, Jack, Khoury,weblink Haaretz, 21 March 2010, 16 March 2013, File:Clinton Netanyahu Abbas Mitchell 2 Sep 2010.jpg|thumb|Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton, George J. Mitchell and Mahmoud Abbas at the start of the direct talks, 2 September 2010]]In September 2010, Netanyahu agreed to enter direct talks, mediated by the Obama administration, with the Palestinians for the first time in a long while.NEWS, Mideast peace talks open to qualified optimism,weblink NBC News, 1 September 2010, 6 March 2013, The ultimate aim of these direct talks is to forge the framework of an official "final status settlement" to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict by forming a two-state solution for the Jewish people and the Palestinian people. On 27 September, the 10-month settlement freeze ended, and the Israeli government approved new construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.NEWS, U.S. pushes talks as Israel resumes settlement building, Jill, Dougherty, Elise, Labott,weblink CNN, 27 September 2010, 17 March 2013, On retiring from office in July 2011, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had said that Netanyahu was ungrateful to the United States and endangering Israel. Responding, the Likud party defended Netanyahu by saying that most Israelis supported the Prime Minister and that he had broad support in the United States.NEWS, Likud defends Netanyahu after report Gates called him 'ungrateful', Barak, Ravid, Eli, Ashkenazi,weblink Haaretz, 6 September 2011, 17 March 2013, NEWS, Gates called Netanyahu an ungrateful ally to U.S. and a danger to Israel, Barak, Ravid,weblink Haaretz, 6 September 2011, 17 March 2013, Netanyahu unsuccessfully called for the early release of Jonathan Pollard, an American serving a life sentence for passing secret U.S. documents to Israel in 1987.Netanyahu And Foe Tangle Over Pollard{{Dead link|date=January 2015}}, New York Daily News. He has raised the issue at the Wye River Summit in 1998, where he claimed that U.S. President Bill Clinton had privately agreed to release Pollard.Ross, Dennis. Statecraft: And How to Restore America's Standing in the World. 2008, page 213Clinton, Bill. My Life: The Presidential Years. 2005, p. 468 In 2002, Netanyahu visited Pollard at his North Carolina prison.WEB,weblink Former PM Netanyahu Visits Pollard in Prison,, 27 October 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2011, dmy, NEWS, Mozgovaya, Natasha, Natasha Mozgovaya,weblink Netanyahu to formally call for release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, Haaretz, Israel, 27 October 2011, The Israeli Prime Minister maintained contact with Pollard's wife, and was active in pressing the Obama administration to release Pollard.NEWS, Hoffman, Gil,weblink Netanyahu reassures Esther Pollard ahead of DC trip, The Jerusalem Post, 19 May 2011, 27 October 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink 19 September 2012, NEWS, Lis, Jonathan,weblink Netanyahu's plea to Obama: Release Jonathan Pollard, Haaretz, Israel, 9 November 2010, 27 October 2011, In 2011, social justice protests broke out across Israel. Hundreds of thousands of people protested Israel's high cost of living throughout the country. In response, Netanyahu appointed the Trajtenberg Committee, headed by professor Manuel Trajtenberg, to examine the problems and propose solutions. The committee submitted recommendations to lower the high cost of living in September 2011.PRESS RELEASE, The recommendations of the Trajtenberg Committee were submitted today to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance,weblink Ministry of Finance, 27 September 2011, 27 January 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 December 2011, dmy, Although Netanyahu promised to push the proposed reforms through the cabinet in one piece, differences inside his coalition resulted in the reforms being gradually adopted.NEWS, Moti Bassok, Jonathan Lis, yes, Netanyahu strikes deal with Yisrael Beiteinu to approve Trajtenberg report,weblink Haaretz, 9 October 2011, 27 January 2012, NEWS, Avi Bar-Eli, Meirav Arlosoroff, Ora Coren, yes, Despite PM's promises, most Trajtenberg recommendations may never become law,weblink The Marker, 15 November 2011, 27 January 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2012, Netanyahu's cabinet also approved a plan to build a fiber-optic cable network across the country to bring cheap, high-speed fiber-optic Internet access to every home.WEB,weblink Israel - Campaigning - Cabinet announces fibre optic internet access in every home, Trade Bridge Consultants, NEWS,weblink Israelis are already winners from the fiber optic venture, Gad Perez, Views, Globes, In 2012, Netanyahu initially planned to call early elections, but subsequently oversaw the creation of a controversial government of national unity to see Israel through until the national elections of 2013.NEWS,weblink In surprise move, Netanyahu, Mofaz agree to form unity government, cancel early elections, Lis, Jonathan, Bar-Zohar, Ophir, 8 May 2012, Haaretz, 9 May 2012, In May 2012, Netanyahu officially recognized for the first time the right for Palestinians to have their own state in an official document, a letter to Mahmoud Abbas, though as before he declared it would have to be demilitarized.NEWS,weblink PM promises Abbas a demilitarized Palestinian state, Winer, Stuart, Ahren, Raphael, 14 May 2012, The Times of Israel, 14 May 2012, On 25 October 2012, Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that their respective political parties, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, had merged and would run together on a single ballot in Israel's 22 January 2013 general elections.NEWS, Leshem, Elie, Netanyahu, Liberman announce they'll run joint list for Knesset,weblink The Times of Israel, 27 October 2012,

Third term as Prime Minister

{{Further|Thirty-third government of Israel}}The 2013 election returned Netanyahu's Likud Beiteinu coalition with 11 fewer seats than the combined Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu parties had going into the vote. Nevertheless, as leader of what remained the largest faction in the Knesset, Israeli president Shimon Peres charged Netanyahu with the task of forming the Thirty-third government of Israel. The new coalition included the Yesh Atid, The Jewish Home and Hatnuah parties and excludes the ultra-Orthodox parties at the insistence of Yesh Atid and the Jewish Home.During Netanyahu's third term, he continued his policy of economic liberalization. In December 2013, the Knesset approved the Business Concentration Law, which intended to open Israel's highly concentrated economy to competition to lower consumer prices, reduce income inequality, and increase economic growth. Netanyahu had formed the Concentration Committee in 2010, and the bill, which was pushed forward by his government, implemented its recommendations. The new law banned multi-tiered corporate holding structures, in which a CEO's family members or other affiliated individuals held public companies which in turn owned other public companies, and who were thus able to engage in price gouging. Under the law, corporations were banned from owning more than two tiers of publicly listed companies and from holding both financial and non-financial enterprises. All conglomerates were given four to six years to sell excess holdings.NEWS,weblink Overhaul of Israel's Economy Offers Lessons for United States, Steven, Davidoff, The New York Times Dealbook blog, NEWS,weblink What is Israel's new Business Concentration Law and why should we care?, 29 December 2013, Haaretz, Netanyahu also began a campaign of port privatization to break what he viewed as the monopoly held by workers of the Israel Port Authority, so as to lower consumer prices and increase exports. In July 2013, he issued tenders for the construction of private ports in Haifa and Ashdod.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu: Era of ports monopoly is over - Globes English, Globes, Netanyahu has also pledged to curb excess bureaucracy and regulations to ease the burden on industry.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu vows to free economy of regulation and bureaucracy, 27 February 2014, Haaretz, File:John Kerry and Benjamin Netanyahu July 2014.jpg|thumb|U.S. Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryIn April 2014, and again in June, Netanyahu spoke of his deep concerns when Hamas and the Palestinian Authority agreed and then formed a unity government, and was severely critical of both the United States and European governments' decision to work with the Palestinian coalition government.Peter Beaumont, "Israel condemns US for backing Palestinian unity government", The Guardian 3 June 2014] He blamed Hamas for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014,NEWS,weblink Netanyahu Says Three Were Taken by Hamas, Jodi Rudoren, 15 June 2014, The New York Times, 24 February 2015, and launched a massive search and arrest operation on the West Bank, targeting members of Hamas in particular, and over the following weeks hit 60 targets in Gaza.James Marc Leas, 'Attack First, Kill First and Claim Self-Defense: Palestine Subcommittee Submission to UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict,' Council for the National Interest 21 January 2015. Missile and rocket exchanges between Gaza militants and the IDF escalated after the bodies of the teenagers, who had been killed almost immediately as the government had good reasons to suspect, were discovered on 30 June 2014.NEWS,weblink Live updates, July 1: Teens' bodies found, Haaretz, 1 July 2014, After several Hamas operatives were killed, either in an explosion or from an Israeli bombing, Hamas officially declared it would launch rockets from Gaza into Israel,NEWS,weblink Israel mourns teenagers, strikes Hamas in Gaza, 1 July 2014, Ori Lewis, Reuters, 24 February 2015, and Israel started Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, formally ending the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.NEWS,weblink IDF's Operation "Protective Edge" Begins Against Gaza, The Jewish Press, 8 July 2014, The prime minister did a round of television shows in the United States and described Hamas as "genocidal terrorists" in an interview on CNN.NEWS, Hamas genocidal terrorists says Netanyahu, 21 July 2014,weblink Israel News.Net, 19 July 2014, When asked if Gazan casualties from the operation might spark "a third intifada", Netanyahu replied that Hamas was working towards that goal.NEWS,weblink Why Benjamin Netanyahu Should Be Very, Very Worried, Fournier, Ron, 28 July 2014, Defense One, National Journal, 29 July 2014, In October 2014, Netanyahu's government approved a privatization plan to reduce corruption and politicization in government companies, and strengthen Israel's capital market. Under the plan, minority stakes of up to 49% in state-owned companies, including arms manufacturers, energy, postal, water, and railway companies, as well as the ports of Haifa and Ashdod.NEWS,weblink Israel approves $4 billion privatization plan for next three years, 5 October 2016, Reuters, That same month, Netanyahu called restrictions on settlements "against the American values",NEWS,weblink Netanyahu: White House criticism of Israel is un-American, 5 October 2014, New York Post, 5 October 2014, a remark that earned him a sharp rebuke from the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who noted that American values had resulted in Israel receiving not only consistent funding but protective technology such as Iron Dome.NEWS,weblink White House Responds to Netanyahu: American Values Gave Israel the Iron Dome, Barak, Ravid, 7 October 2014, Haaretz, Haaretz, Not long thereafter, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic reported that the relationship between Netanyahu and the White House had reached a new low, with the U.S. administration angry over Israel's settlement policies, and Netanyahu expressing contempt for the American administration's grasp of the Middle East.WEB,weblink The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here, Jeffrey, Goldberg, 2014-10-28, Netanyahu explained that he does not accept restrictions on where Jews could live, and said that Jerusalem's Arabs and Jews should be able to buy homes wherever they want. He said he was "baffled" by the American condemnation. "It's against the American values. And it doesn't bode well for peace. The idea that we'd have this ethnic purification as a condition for peace, I think it's anti-peace."On 2 December 2014, Netanyahu fired two of his ministers, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads Hatnua. The changes led to the dissolution of the government, with new elections expected on 17 March 2015.NEWS, Knesset votes to dissolve, sets new elections for March 17, 8 December 2014, The Times of Israel,weblink In January 2015, Netanyahu was invited to address the US Congress. This speech marked Netanyahu's third speech to a joint session of Congress.NEWS, Netanyahu to address US Congress in February,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 1 January 2015, The day before announcing he would address Congress, Time reported that he tried to derail a meeting between U.S. lawmakers and the head of Mossad, Tamir Pardo, who intended warning them against imposing further sanctions against Iran, a move that might derail nuclear talks."Report: Netanyahu tried to prevent Mossad briefing for US Senators on Iran", Ynet 15 March 2015."Exclusive: Netanyahu Canceled Intel Briefing for U.S. Senators on Iran Dangers", Time 14 March 2015. Leading up to the speech, on 3 March 2015, Israeli consuls general in the United States "expect[ed] fierce negative reaction from U.S. Jewish communities and Israel's allies". Objections included the arrangement of the speech without the support and engagement of the Obama administration and the timing of the speech before Israel's 17 March 2015 election. Seven American Jewish lawmakers met with Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. and recommended that Netanyahu instead meet with lawmakers privately to discuss Iran.Consuls in U.S. warn: Israel's friends fear Netanyahu's speech to Congress will harm ties Haaretz, 5 February 2015 In making the speech, Netanyahu claimed to speak for all Jews worldwide, a claim disputed by others in the Jewish community.Dianne Feinstein: Benjamin Netanyahu 'Arrogant' For Claiming To Speak For All Jews Huffington Post, 1 March 2015 J Street launches campaign against Netanyahu Times of Israel, 10 February 2015How dare Netanyahu speak in the name of America's Jews? Haaretz, 9 February 2015Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protest in NYC over Netanyahu's speech Haaretz, 4 March 2015 Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, stated that "American Jews are largely appalled by the notion that Netanyahu, or any other Israeli politician – one that we did not elect and do not choose to be represented by – claims to speak for us."Netanyahu does not speak for all American Jews The Washington Post, 20 February 2015As election day approached in what was perceived to be a close race in the 2015 Israeli elections, Netanyahu answered 'indeed' when asked whether a Palestinian state would not be established in his term. He said that support of a Palestinian state is tantamount to yielding territory for radical Islamic terrorists to attack Israel.Moran Azulay,"Netanyahu says no Palestinian state if he remains PM", Ynet 16 March 2015:'"Whoever moves to establish a Palestinian state or intends to withdraw from territory is simply yielding territory for radical Islamic terrorist attacks against Israel",' However, Netanyahu reiterated "I don't want a one-state solution. I want a peaceful, sustainable two-state solution. I have not changed my policy."WEB,weblink Netanyahu Backtracks on Election Pledge to Refuse a Two-State Solution After Sharp Words from the US,, 2015-03-19,

Fourth term as Prime Minister

{{further|Thirty-fourth government of Israel}}File:SecStae viasit April 2018 (41884908901).jpg|thumb|Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoFile:Joseph Dunford visit to Israel, May 2017 DSC 3508 (33798189093).jpg|thumb|Netanyahu, Joseph Dunford and Red Army's Jewish veterans, Victory Day in Jerusalem, 9 May 2017]]File:President Trump at the Israel Museum. Jerusalem May 23, 2017 President Trump at the Israel Museum. Jerusalem May 23, 2017 (34460980460).jpg|thumb|Netanyahu meets with President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFile:President of Ukraine held a meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel, January 2018.III.jpeg|thumb|Netanyahu meets with Ukrainian President Petro PoroshenkoPetro PoroshenkoIn the 2015 election, Netanyahu returned with his party Likud leading the elections with 30 mandates, making it the single highest number of seats for the Knesset. President Rivlin granted Netanyahu an extension until 6 May 2015 to build a coalition when one had not been finalized in the first four weeks of negotiations.Rivlin grants Netanyahu 2 week extension to form coalition The Jerusalem Post, 20 April 2015 He formed a coalition government within two hours of the midnight 6 May deadline.NEWS, 6 May 2015, In the 11th hour, Netanyahu finalizes 61-strong coalition,weblink The Times of Israel, Jerusalem, 6 May 2015, Prime minister reaches deal with Jewish home's Bennett, finalizing a right-wing government; two men set to deliver a statement; Ayelet Shaked will be named justice minister., His Likud party formed the coalition with Jewish Home, United Torah Judaism, Kulanu, and Shas.NEWS, Heller, Jeffery, 6 May 2015, Netanyahu clinches deal to form new Israeli government,weblink Reuters, London, 6 May 2015, On 28 May 2015, Netanyahu announced that he would be running for an unprecedented fifth term as Prime Minister in the next general election and that he supports Likud's current process of picking MK candidates.NEWS, Hoffman, Gil, 28 May 2015, Netanyahu vows to run in next election, boost Likud,weblink The Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem, Israel, 28 May 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared for the first time Wednesday that he intends to run for an unprecedented fifth term in the next general election, promising to lead the Likud to 40 seats., In August 2015, Netanyahu's government approved a two-year budget that would see agricultural reforms and lowering of import duties to reduce food prices, deregulation of the approval process in construction to lower housing costs and speed up infrastructure building, and reforms in the financial sector to boost competition and lower fees for financial services.NEWS,weblink Cabinet approves state budget for 2015-2016, The Times of Israel, NEWS,weblink State budget passes after marathon talks, The Jerusalem Post, In the end, the government was forced to compromise by removing some key agricultural reforms.NEWS,weblink Israel Set to Pass a Disappointing Budget, Nehemia, Shtrasler, 17 November 2015, Haaretz, In October 2015, Netanyahu drew widespread criticism for claiming that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, gave Adolf Hitler the idea for the Holocaust in the preceding months to the Second World War, convincing the Nazi leader to exterminate Jews rather than just expel them from Europe.NEWS, Netanyahu, Saying Palestinian Mufti Inspired Holocaust, Draws Broad Criticism,weblink The New York Times, 21 October 2015, 21 October 2015, 0362-4331, Jodi, Rudoren, NEWS, Richards, Victoria, 21 October 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu blames Holocaust on Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini,weblink The Independent, 21 October 2015, This idea is dismissed by mainstream historians,NEWS, Netanyahu: Hitler Didn't Want to Exterminate the Jews,weblink Haaretz, 21 October 2015, 23 October 2015, who note that al-Husseini's meeting with Hitler took place approximately five months after the mass murder of Jews began.NEWS, Aderet, Ofer, 22 October 2015, Mass murder of Jews in Europe started months before Hitler met mufti, historians say,weblink Haaretz, 23 October 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not accept Netanyahu's claims, and reiterated an acceptance of her country's crimes during the Nazi era.NEWS, Connolly, Kate, 21 October 2015, Germany refuses to accept Netanyahu's claim Palestinian inspired Holocaust,weblink The Guardian, 21 October 2015, Netanyahu later explained that his "aim was not to absolve Hitler from the responsibility he bears, but to show that the father of the Palestinian nation at the time, without a state and before the 'occupation,' without the territories and with the settlements, even then aspired with systemic incitement for the destruction of the Jews."NEWS, Sokol, Sam, 21 October 2015, Netanyahu's Holocaust distortion obscures Mufti's collaboration, say historians,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 21 October 2015, Some of the strongest criticism came from Israeli academics: Yehuda Bauer said Netanyahu's claim was "completely idiotic", while Moshe Zimmermann stated that "any attempt to deflect the burden from Hitler to others is a form of Holocaust denial."NEWS, Tate, Emily, 22 October 2015, Under-fire Netanyahu criticised over 'a form of Holocaust denial',weblink Irish Independent, 23 October 2015, In March 2016 Netanyahu's coalition faced a potential crisis as ultra-Orthodox members threatened to withdraw over the government's proposed steps to create non-Orthodox prayer space at the Western Wall. They have stated they will leave the coalition if the government offers any further official state recognition of Conservative and Reform Judaism.Netanyahu facing crisis as haredim vow to quit over Western Wall pluralism. The Jerusalem Post, 7 March 2016On 23 December 2016, the United States, under the Obama Administration, abstained from United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, effectively allowing it to pass.NEWS, Collinson, Stephen, Wright, David, Labott, Elise, US Abstains as UN Demands End to Israeli Settlements,weblink 24 December 2016, CNN, 7 January 2017, On 28 December, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry strongly criticized Israel and its settlement policies in a speech.NEWS, Sanger, David E., Kerry Rebukes Israel, Calling Settlements a Threat to Peace,weblink 28 December 2016, The New York Times, 7 January 2017, Netanyahu strongly criticized both the UN ResolutionNEWS, Barak, Ravid, Netanyahu on UN Settlement Vote: Israel Will Not Turn the Other Cheek,weblink 26 December 2016, Haaretz, 7 January 2017, and Kerry's speechNEWS, Israel-Palestinians: Netanyahu Condemns John Kerry Speech,weblink 29 December 2016, BBC, 7 January 2017, in response. On 6 January 2017, the Israeli government withdrew its annual dues from the organization, which totaled $6 million in United States dollars.NEWS, Israel Halts $6 million to UN to Protest UN Settlements Vote,weblink 6 January 2017, Fox News (from the Associated Press), 7 January 2017, On 22 February 2017, Netanyahu became the first serving Prime Minister of Israel to visit Australia. He was accompanied by his wife, Sara. The three-day official visit included a delegation of business representatives, and Netanyahu and Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull were scheduled to sign several bilateral agreements. Netanyahu recalled that it was the Australian Light Horse regiments that liberated Beersheba during World War 1, and this began what has been a relationship of 100 years between the countries.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lands in Sydney amid controversy, ABC News Online, 22 February 2017On 12 October 2017, shortly after the United States announced the same action, Netanyahu's government announced it was leaving UNESCO due to what it saw as anti-Israel actions by the agency,NEWS, Israel to Join US in Quitting Unesco,weblink 12 October 2017, BBC News, 22 January 2018, NEWS, Irish, John, U.S., Israel Quit U.N. Heritage Agency Citing Bias,weblink 12 October 2017, Reuters, 22 January 2018, and it made that decision official in December 2017.NEWS, Landau, Noa, Following in U.S.' Footsteps, Israel Announces Exit From UNESCO,weblink 22 December 2017, Haaretz, 22 January 2018, WEB, Israel Joins US in Announcing Withdrawal from UNESCO,weblink 24 December 2017, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 22 January 2018, The Israeli government officially notified UNESCO of the withdrawal in late December 2017.WEB, Joining US, Israel Formally Notifies UNESCO of Withdrawal,weblink 29 December 2017, Deutsche Welle, 22 January 2018, NEWS, Landau, Noa, Israel Officially Resigns From UNESCO, Following U.S.,weblink 31 December 2017, Haaretz, 22 January 2018, NEWS, Hacohen, Hagay, Racing Against the Clock, Israel Submits Letter Quitting UNESCO,weblink 29 December 2017, The Jerusalem Post, 22 January 2018, WEB, Israel Says it Succeeded in Bid to Withdraw from UNESCO by 2019, Official Says,weblink 29 December 2017, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 22 January 2018, On 30 April 2018, Netanyahu accused Iran of not holding up its end of the Iran nuclear deal after presenting a cache of over 100,000 documents detailing the extent of Iran's nuclear program. Iran denounced Netanyahu's presentation as "propaganda".NEWS, 30 April 2018, Netanyahu Unveils Secret Iranian Nuclear Program,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 1 May 2018, Netanyahu praised the 2018 North Korea–United States summit. He said in a statement, "I commend US President Donald Trump on the historic summit in Singapore. This is an important step in the effort to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons."NEWS, Netanyahu congratulates Trump on Kim summit, Iran policy,weblink i24NEWS, 12 June 2018, On 19 July 2018, the Knesset passed the (Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People|Nation-State Bill), a Basic Law supported by Netanyahu's coalition government.NEWS, Halbfinger, David M., Kershner, Isabel, Israeli Law Declares the Country the 'Nation-State of the Jewish People',weblink 19 July 2018, The New York Times, 23 July 2018, NEWS, Lis, Jonathan, Landau, Noa, Israel Passes Controversial Jewish Nation-state Bill After Stormy Debate,weblink 19 July 2018, Haaretz, 23 July 2018, NEWS, Eglash, Ruth, Contentious Nation-State Law Declaring Israel the Jewish Homeland Approved by Lawmakers,weblink 19 July 2018, The Washington Post, 23 July 2018, Analysts saw the bill as a sign of Netanyahu's coalition advancing a right-wing agenda.NEWS, Halbfinger, David M., Israel Cements Right-Wing Agenda in a Furious Week of Lawmaking,weblink 20 July 2018, The New York Times, 23 July 2018, Prior to the April 2019 Israeli legislative election, Netanyahu helped broker a deal that united the Jewish Home partyNEWS, Michal Wilner, Jerusalem Post,weblink Who are the Kahanists of Otzma Netanyahu opened Knesset door to? - Israel Elections, 11 March 2019, with the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, in order to form the Union of the Right-Wing Parties. The motivation of the deal was to overcome the electoral threshold for smaller parties. The deal was criticized in the media, as Otzma is widely characterized as racist and traces its origins to the extremist Kahanist movement.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu Sparks Outrage Over Pact With Racist Party, David M., Halbfinger, 24 February 2019, The New York Times, WEB,weblink Otzma Yehudit's history of racism and provocation, 21 February 2019, Ynetnews, On 10 September 2019, Netanyahu pledged to annex part of the occupied West Bank on the border with Jordan if re-elected the following week. He vowed to apply "Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea".NEWS,weblink Netanyahu pledges to annex occupied Jordan Valley, 10 September 2019, 10 September 2019,

Criminal investigations

Since January 2017, Netanyahu has been investigated and questioned by Israeli police in two cases not previously made public, "Case 1000" and "Case 2000", that were named this way by the police due to the link between them. In the first case, "1000", the prime minister is suspected of allegedly obtaining inappropriately large-scale benefits from businessmen, including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and James Packer.NEWS, Amnon Abramovich,weblink he:תיק הבדיקה נגד נתניהו נחשף: ראש הממשלה חשוד בקבלת טובות הנאה, he, Examination file against Netanyahu revealed: Prime Minister is suspected of receiving favors, Reshet, Archived copy, 29 December 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 30 December 2016, dead, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink Netanyahu questioned by Israeli police for a second time in graft probe, The Daily Telegraph, The second case involves alleged attempts to strike a deal with the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronot newspaper group, Arnon Mozes, to promote legislation to weaken Yedioth's main competitor, Israel Hayom, in exchange for more favorable coverage of Netanyahu by Yedioth.On 3 August 2017, Israeli police confirmed for the first time that Netanyahu was suspected of crimes involving fraud, breach of trust, and bribes in cases "1000" and "2000".Benjamin Netanyahu suspected of bribery, fraud, Israeli police say CBS/AP, 4 August 2017. The next day it was reported that the Prime Minister's former chief of staff, Ari Harow, had signed a deal with prosecutors to become state's witness and testify against Netanyahu in these cases.Revital Hovel, Former Netanyahu Aide Ari Harow Reaches Deal to Become State's Witness, Haaretz, 4 August 2017.On 13 February 2018, Israeli police recommended that Netanyahu would be charged with corruption. According to a police statement, sufficient evidence exists to indict the prime minister on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in the two separate cases, "1000" and "2000". Netanyahu responded that the allegations were baseless and that he would continue as prime minister.NEWS,weblink Israel PM Netanyahu faces corruption charges, 2018-02-13, BBC News, 2018-02-13, en-GB, On 25 November 2018, it was reported that Economic Crimes Division Director Liat Ben-Ari recommended indictment for both cases. The recommendation will need to be approved by State Attorney Shai Nitzan and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.NEWS,weblink Report: Netanyahu's prosecutor recommends indictment in two cases, The Jerusalem Post {{!,|access-date=2018-11-26}}On 28 February 2019, the Israeli attorney general announced his intent to file indictments against Netanyahu on bribe and fraud charges in three different cases. Netanyahu would become the first sitting prime minister in Israeli history to be charged with a crime.NEWS,weblink Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be indicted on corruption charges, 28 February 2019, 28 February 2019, NBC News,

Political positions

Economic views

Netanyahu has been described as "the advocate of the free-market".{{attribution needed|date=April 2018}}Beyond Regionalism?: Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East, by Cilja Harders, Matteo Legrenzi (Ashgate 2013), page 191 As Prime Minister in his first term, he significantly reformed the banking sector, removing barriers to investment abroad, mandatory purchases of government securities and direct credit. As Minister of Finance (2003–2005), Netanyahu introduced a major overhaul of the Israeli economy. He introduced a welfare to work program, he led a program of privatization, reduced the size of the public sector, reformed and streamlined the taxation system and passed laws against monopolies and cartels with the aim of increasing competition. Netanyahu extended capital gains taxes from companies to individuals, which allowed him to enlarge the tax base while reducing taxes on incomes.Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon, By David Landau, (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2014), Chapter 14 As the Israeli economy started booming and unemployment fell significantly, Netanyahu was widely credited by commentators as having performed an 'economic miracle' by the end of his tenure. Direct investment in the Israeli economy had increased by an annualized 380%.Foreign investment in Israel at record levels Globes, 26 September 2005, 14:23, Zeev Klein On the other hand, his critics have labelled his economic views as Margaret Thatcher-inspired "popular capitalism".The Political Right in Israel: Different Faces of Jewish Populism, by Dani Filc, (Routledge, 2009), page 65Netanyahu defines capitalism as "the ability to have individual initiative and competition to produce goods and services with profit, but not to shut out somebody else from trying to do the same". He says that his views developed while he was working as an economic consult for Boston Consulting Group: "It was the first time that the Boston Consulting Group looked at governments and worked for governments. They wanted to do a strategic plan for the government of Sweden. I was on that case and looked at other governments. So I went around to other governments in Europe in 1976 and I was looking at Britain. I was looking at France. I was looking at other countries, and I could see that they were stymied by concentrations of power that prevented competition. And I thought, hmm, as bad as they are, ours was worse because we had very little room for private sector competition to the extent that we had government-controlled or union-controlled companies, and so you really didn't get the competition or the growth ... And I said, well, if I ever have a chance, I'll change that."

Views on counter-terrorism

}}Netanyahu has said his own "hard line against all terrorists" came as a result of his brother's death. Yoni Netanyahu had been killed while leading the hostage-rescue mission at Operation Entebbe.Thomas, Gordon. Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, Macmillan Publishers (2009) p. 145{{ISBN missing}}In addition to having taken part in counter-terrorist operations during his service in the military, Netanyahu has published three books on the subject of fighting terrorism. He identifies terrorism as a form of totalitarianism, writing: "The more far removed the target of the attack from any connection to the grievance enunciated by the terrorists, the greater the terror ... Yet for terrorism to have any impact, it is precisely the lack of connection, the lack of any possible involvement or "complicity" of the chosen victims in the cause the terrorists seek to attack, that produces the desired fear. For terrorism's underlying message is that every member of society is "guilty", that anyone can be a victim, and that therefore no one is safe ... In fact, the methods reveal the totalitarian strain that runs through all terrorist groups ... It is not only that the ends of the terrorists do not succeed in justifying the means they choose; their choice of means indicate what their true ends are. Far from being fighters for freedom, terrorists are the forerunners of tyranny. Terrorists use the techniques of violent coercion in order to achieve a regime of violent coercion."BOOK, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism, 1995, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 978-0374154929, 8–9,weblink Netanyahu cautions that "[t]he trouble with active anti-terror activities ... is that they do constitute a substantial intrusion on the lives of those being monitored." He believes there is a balance between civil liberties and security, which should depend on the level of sustained terrorist attacks in a country. During periods of sustained attack, there should be shift towards security, due to "the monstrous violation of personal rights which is the lot of the victims of terror and their families".BOOK, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism, 1995, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 978-0374154929, 33,weblink But this should be regularly reviewed, with an emphasis on guarding civil liberties and individual privacy wherever and whenever security considerations allow: "The concern of civil libertarians over possible infringements of the rights of innocent citizens is well placed, and all additional powers granted the security services should require annual renewal by the legislature, this in addition to judicial oversight of actions as they are taken in the field."BOOK, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism, 1995, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 978-0374154929, 142,weblink He advises tighter immigration laws as an essential tool to preemptively combat terrorism: "This era of immigration free-for-all should be brought to an end. An important aspect of taking control of the immigration situation is stricter background checks of potential immigrants, coupled with the real possibility of deportation."He also cautions that it is essential that governments do not conflate terrorists with those legitimate political groups that may or may not hold extremist views, but which advance their positions by means of debate and argument: "Democracies have their share of anti-immigrant or anti-establishment parties, as well as advocates of extreme nationalism or internationalism ... [T]hey are often genuinely convinced participants in democracy, accepting its basic ground rules and defending its central tenets. These can and must be distinguished from the tiny splinters at the absolute fringes of democratic society, which may endorse many similar ideas, but use them as a pretext to step outside the rubric of the democratic system".In particular, Ronald Reagan was an admirer of Netanyahu's work on counter-terrorism, and Reagan recommended Netanyahu's book Terrorism: How the West Can Win to all senior figures in his administration.David Margolick (June 1996), "Star of Zion", Vanity Fair

Death penalty

In 2017 Netanyahu called for the death penalty to be imposed on the perpetrator of the 2017 Halamish stabbing attack.NEWS, Netanyahu demands death penalty for Halamish terrorist,weblink 27 July 2017, Times of Israel, 27 July 2017, Representatives in his government plan to introduce a bill, which would allow the death penalty for terrorism, to the Knesset.WEB,weblink Israeli leaders push for 'terrorist' death penalty,, 2017-12-17, NEWS,weblink Gesetzesinitiative: Israel will Todesstrafe für Terroristen einführen,,, In January 2018, 52 of 120 members of the Israeli parliament voted in favor, while 49 opposed, making it easier for judges to hand down the death penalty.NEWS,weblink Israeli death penalty advocates win preliminary vote in parliament, Reuters, Editorial, Reuters, 2018-01-03,

LGBT rights

Netanyahu supports equal rights before the law for LGBT citizens, stating: "The struggle for every person to be recognized as equal before the law is a long struggle, and there is still a long way to go ... I am proud that Israel is among the most open countries in the world in relation to the LGBT community discourse."PM to LGBT community: Israel among world's most open countries 6 November 2015, The Jerusalem PostNEWS, Omri Nahmias, 11 June 2015,weblink he:נתניהו בירך את קהילת הלהט"ב: "ישראל - מהפתוחות בעולם", he, Netanyahu congratulates the LGBT community: "Israel – one of the most open in the world", Walla!, During an event held for the annual community rights day at the Knesset, Netanyahu proclaimed that he was "asked to come here in the middle of my busy schedule to say one thing to the male and female members of the LGBT community: We must be guided by the conviction that every person is created in the image of God.""Knesset marks Gay Community Rights Day; PM Netanyahu: 'We must be guided by the conviction that every person is created in the image of God{{'"}} Publicized: 23 February 2016, Knesset Press Releases However, in his coalition government, many of his coalition government party members opposed same-sex marriage.

Ethiopian Jewish integration

(File:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - A memorial service of Ethiopian immigrants.jpg|thumb|upright|Netanyahu at a memorial service of Ethiopian Israeli immigrants, in honor of their friends who died on their way to Israel.)In 2015, after Ethiopian Jewish protests against police brutality, Netanyahu said: "We will bring a comprehensive plan to the government to assist you in every way. There is no room for racism and discrimination in our society, none ... We will turn racism into something contemptible and despicable."Judah Ari Gross (17 May 2015), "Israel failed Ethiopian community, president says at memorial" The Times of Israel

African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem

Netanyahu supports the integration of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem into Israeli society, and takes part in celebrations in honor of this community's "exodus" from America to Israel, which occurred in 1967. In 2012, Netanyahu expressed appreciation towards "the cooperative society that is working towards the inclusion of the Hebrew Israelite community in Israeli society at large," and declared that the experience of the community in the land of Israel is "an integral part of the Israeli experience."Andrew Esensten (25 May 2012) "African Hebrew Israelites mark their modern day exodus from U.S". Haaretz

Peace process

Netanyahu opposed the Oslo accords from their inception. In 1993, he dedicated a chapter, entitled "Trojan Horse", of his book A Place Among the Nations to argue against the Oslo Peace Process. He asserted that Amin al-Husseini had been one of the masterminds of the Holocaust, and that Yasser Arafat was heir to the former's "alleged exterminationist Nazism".JOURNAL, 10.1111/jore.12119, Holocaust Abuse, Journal of Religious Ethics, 43, 4, 723–759, 2015, Sells, Michael A., During his term as prime minister in the late 1990s, Netanyahu consistently reneged on commitments made by previous Israeli governments as part of the Oslo peace process, leading American peace envoy Dennis Ross to note that "neither President Clinton nor Secretary [of State Madeleine] Albright believed that Bibi had any real interest in pursuing peace."NEWS,weblink How U.S. Jews Stymie Peace Talks, Beinart, Peter, 27 September 2010, The Daily Beast, 17 March 2013, In a 2001 video, Netanyahu, reportedly unaware he was being recorded, said: "They asked me before the election if I'd honor [the Oslo Accords]", "I said I would, but ... I'm going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the '67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I'm concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue."NEWS, Netanyahu: 'America is a thing you can move very easily', Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post, 16 July 2010,weblink On 9 August 2009, speaking at the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu promised not to repeat the "mistake" of the Gaza unilateral pullout, saying, "We will not repeat this mistake. We will not create new evacuees", and adding that "the unilateral evacuation brought neither peace nor security. On the contrary", and that "We want an agreement with two factors, the first of which is the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and [the second is] a security settlement. In the case of Gaza, both of these factors were lacking". He also said, "Should we achieve a turn toward peace with the more moderate partners, we will insist on the recognition of the State of Israel and the demilitarization of the future Palestinian state".NEWS, Sofer, Roni, Netanyahu vows not to repeat 'mistake' of Gaza pullout,weblink Ynetnews, 9 August 2009, 9 August 2009, NEWS, Netanyahu: I won't repeat Gaza evacuation mistake, Barak, Ravid,weblink Haaretz, 9 August 2009, 16 March 2013, In October 2014, Netanyahu said "We don't just hand over territory, close our eyes and hope for the best. We did that in Lebanon and we got thousands of rockets. We did that in Gaza, we got Hamas and 15,000 rockets. So we're not gonna just replicate that. We want to see genuine recognition of the Jewish state and rock solid security arrangements on the ground. That's the position I've held, and it's only become firmer."Dovid Efune, Netanyahu Says Stance On Security Requirements Has Become 'Firmer', Algemeiner Journal, 6 October 2014.File:Netanyahu campaign poster.jpg|thumb|One of Netanyahu's campaign posters during the 2009 Israeli legislative elections which stated that he would be the strongest choice for Israel's economy and security ]]Netanyahu had previously called U.S.-backed peace talks a waste of time,NEWS,weblink Howard, Schneider, Poll Gives Netanyahu Positive Marks Despite Rift with US, The Washington Post, 20 March 2009, 20 March 2009, while at the same time refusing to commit to the same two-state solution as had other Israeli leaders,NEWS, Why isn't Netanyahu backing two-state solution?, Aluf, Benn,weblink Haaretz, 1 March 2009, 16 March 2013, until a speech in June 2009. He repeatedly made public statements which advocated an "economic peace" approach, meaning an approach based on economic cooperation and joint effort rather than continuous contention over political and diplomatic issues. This is in line with many significant ideas from the Peace Valley plan.NEWS, Netanyahu: Economics, not politics, is the key to peace, Raphael, Ahren,weblink Haaretz, 20 November 2008, 16 March 2013, He raised these ideas during discussions with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.NEWS, Netanyahu offers new peace vision, Roni, Sofer,weblink Ynetnews, 7 November 2008, 16 March 2013, Netanyahu continued to advocate these ideas as the Israeli elections approached.NEWS,weblink Leslie, Susser, Netanyahu Holds Big Lead in Prime Minister Race Polls, The Jewish Journal, 2 February 2009, 11 July 2009, Netanyahu has said:
Right now, the peace talks are based on only one thing, only on peace talks. It makes no sense at this point to talk about the most contractible issue. It's Jerusalem or bust, or right of return or bust. That has led to failure and is likely to lead to failure again ... We must weave an economic peace alongside a political process. That means that we have to strengthen the moderate parts of the Palestinian economy by handing rapid growth in those areas, rapid economic growth that gives a stake for peace for the ordinary Palestinians."
In January 2009, prior to the February 2009 Israeli elections Netanyahu informed Middle East envoy Tony Blair that he would continue the policy of the Israeli governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert by expanding settlements in the West Bank, in contravention of the Road Map, but not building new ones.NEWS, Likud allow settlement expansion,weblink BBC News, 26 January 2009, 16 March 2013, In 2013, Netanyahu denied reports that his government would agree to peace talks on the basis of the green line.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu denies agreeing to peace talks based on '67 lines., The Jerusalem Post, 18 July 2013, 31 January 2014, In 2014 he agreed to the American framework based on the green line and said that Jewish settlers must be allowed the option of staying in their settlements under Palestinian rule.NEWS,weblink Israeli official: Palestine should allow settlers, Heller, Aron, 26 January 2014, Associated Press, 26 January 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 February 2014, dmy, NEWS,weblink Netanyahu says he agreed to US proposal for talks with Palestinians based on '67 lines, 3 October 2014, The Jerusalem Post, 2 October 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 October 2014, In 2014, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat criticized Netanyahu, calling him "ideologically corrupt" and a war criminal.{{citation|title=Top Palestinian negotiator rips into 'discredited, useless' Abbas|newspaper=The Times of Israel|url=|author=Elhanan Miller|date=12 June 2014}}

Bar-Ilan speech

{{Very long|section|small=left|date=April 2019}}On 14 June 2009, Netanyahu delivered a seminal addressNEWS,weblink Full text of Binyamin Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech, 15 June 2009, Haaretz, 15 June 2009, at Bar-Ilan University (also known as the "Bar-Ilan speech"), at Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, that was broadcast live in Israel and across parts of the Arab world, on the topic of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. He endorsed for the first time the notion of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Netanyahu's speech could be viewed in part as a response to Obama's 4 June speech at Cairo. Yedioth Ahronoth claimed that Obama's words had "resonated through Jerusalem's corridors".NEWS, Ynetnews,weblink Ministers split over Obama's Cairo speech, 4 June 2009, 19 June 2009, As part of his proposal, Netanyahu demanded the full demilitarization of the proposed state, with no army, rockets, missiles, or control of its airspace, and said that Jerusalem would be undivided Israeli territory. He stated that the Palestinians should recognize Israel as the Jewish national state with an undivided Jerusalem. He rejected a right of return for Palestinian refugees, saying, "any demand for resettling Palestinian refugees within Israel undermines Israel's continued existence as the state of the Jewish people." He also stated that a complete stop to settlement building in the West Bank, as required by the 2003 Road Map peace proposal, was not possible and the expansions will be limited based on the "natural growth" of the population, including immigration, with no new territories taken in. Nevertheless, Netanyahu affirmed that he accepted the Road Map proposal.NEWS, Netanyahu's speech: Yes to road map, no to settlement freeze, Barak, Ravid, Aluf, Benn,weblink Haaretz, 11 June 2009, 16 March 2013, He did not discuss whether or not the settlements should be part of Israel after peace negotiations, simply stating that the "question will be discussed".NEWS, Netanyahu wants demilitarized PA state, Herb, Keinon, Herb Keinon,weblink The Jerusalem Post, 14 June 2009, 6 March 2013, In a response to U.S. President Barack Obama's statements in his Cairo speech, Netanyahu remarked, "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." He also said, "this is the homeland of the Jewish people, this is where our identity was forged." He stated that he would be willing to meet with any "Arab leader" for negotiations without preconditions, specifically mentioning Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. In general, the address represented a new position for Netanyahu's government on the peace process.Some right-wing members of Netanyahu's governing coalition criticized his remarks for the creation of a Palestinian State, believing that all of the land should come under Israeli sovereignty. Likud MK Danny Danon said that Netanyahu went "against the Likud platform",NEWS,weblink Netanyahu defends speech to party hardliners, Sofer, Roni, 15 June 2009, Ynetnews, 17 September 2009, while MK Uri Orbach of Habayit Hayehudi said that it had "dangerous implications".NEWS,weblink Likud members say PM gave in to US pressure, 14 June 2009, Ynetnews, 17 September 2009, Opposition party Kadima leader Tzipi Livni remarked after the address that she thinks Netanyahu does not really believe in the two-state solution at all; she thought that he only said what he did as a feigned response to international pressure.NEWS, Livni: Netanyahu doesn't believe in two-state solution,weblink Haaretz, 7 July 2009, 16 March 2013, Peace Now criticized the speech, highlighting that, in the group's opinion, it did not address the Palestinians as equal partners in the peace process. The Secretary General of Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer, said, "It's a rerun of Netanyahu from his first term".NEWS, Peace Now, Peace Now Response to Bibi Netanyahu's Speech,weblink 15 June 2009, 8 July 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 September 2013, On 9 August 2009, speaking at the opening of a government meeting, Netanyahu repeated his claims from the Palestinians: "We want an agreement with two factors, the first of which is the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and (the second of which is) a security settlement".Netanyahu's "Bar-Ilan speech" provoked mixed reaction from the international community.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu speech provokes mix of international reactions, 15 June 2009, Radio France, 16 September 2009, The Palestinian National Authority rejected the conditions on a Palestinian State given by Netanyahu. Senior official Saeb Erekat said, "Netanyahu's speech closed the door to permanent status negotiations". Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said it reflected a "racist and extremist ideology"NEWS,weblink Hamas slams Netanyahu's 'racist, extremist' ideology, 14 June 2009, Ynetnews, 11 August 2009, and called on Arab nations to "form stronger opposition".NEWS,weblink Netanyahu Peace Speech: Israeli Prime Minister Appeals To Arab Leaders For Peace, 14 June 2009, Josef, Federman, The Huffington Post, 14 June 2009, Palestinian Islamic Jihad labeled it "misleading" and, like Hamas, demanded stronger opposition to Israel from Arab nations.NEWS, Xinhua News Agency, Netanyahu's speech vexes Arabs, Muhammad Yamany, Chen Gongzheng,weblink 15 June 2009, 16 June 2009, According to The Jerusalem Post, some leaders advocated a third intifada in response to the speech. The Arab League dismissed the address, declaring in a statement that "Arabs would not make concessions regarding issues of Jerusalem and refugees" and that "we know his history and style of evasion", adding that the Arab League would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Referring to Netanyahu's demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak remarked, "You won't find anyone to answer that call in Egypt, or in any other place." Issuing a less blunt response, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that the speech was "not complete" and that it hoped for another, "different Israeli proposal which is built on the commitment to the two-state solution".NEWS,weblink Palestinians Condemn Netanyahu Speech (VIDEO), 15 June 2009, Stewart, Whatley, The Huffington Post, 15 June 2009, NEWS,weblink Syria: Netanyahu's policy has everything but peace, Haaretz, 15 June 2009, Syrian state media condemned the speech and wrote that "Netanyahu has confirmed that he rejects the Arab peace initiative for peace along with all the initiatives and resolutions of the Security Council to relative peace."NEWS,weblink PM calls Mubarak to clarify stance, 16 June 2009, The Jerusalem Post, 17 June 2012, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called for unity among Arab leaders, saying that "Arab leaders should be more united and preserve the spirit of resistance to face the Israeli stands regarding the peace process and the Palestinian refugee issue." He called on the international community to exert more pressure on the Israeli government to accept the Arab Peace Initiative, as he said "Israel still has a will of military confrontation which can be proved in its offensives on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip." Jordanian Minister of State for Media affairs and Communications, and Government spokesperson Nabil Sharif issued a statement saying "The ideas presented by Netanyahu do not live up to what was agreed on by the international community as a starting point for achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region." Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to the speech as "bad news".The Czech Republic praised Netanyahu's address. "In my view, this is a step in the right direction. The acceptance of a Palestinian state was present there," said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, whose country held the EU's six-month presidency at the time of the speech.NEWS, EU gives cautious welcome to Netanyahu speech, Mark, John,weblink Reuters, 15 June 2009, 16 March 2013, President Barack Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said that the speech was an "important step forward".NEWS,weblink White House reacts to Netanyahu's speech, 14 June 2009, CNN, President Obama stated that "this solution can and must ensure both Israel's security and the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for a viable state". Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated that "the fact that he uttered the word state is a small step forward". He added that "whether what he mentioned can be defined as a state is a subject of some debate". France praised the speech but called on Israel to cease building settlements in the West Bank. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner stated, "I can only welcome the prospect of a Palestinian state outlined by the Israeli Prime Minister." The Foreign Ministry of Russia called the speech "a sign of readiness for dialogue" but said that "it does not open up the road to resolving the Israeli–Palestinian problem. The conditions on the Palestinians would be unacceptable."


{{See also|Iran–Israel relations|Nuclear program of Iran}}In an 8 March 2007 interview with CNN, opposition leader Netanyahu asserted that there is only one difference between Nazi Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran, namely that the first entered a worldwide conflict and then sought atomic weapons, while the latter is first seeking atomic weapons and, once it has them, will then start a world war. Netanyahu repeated these remarks at a news conference in April 2008.NEWS,weblink Report: Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel, Haaretz, 16 April 2008, 29 July 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 16 April 2012, dead, dmy, This was similar to earlier remarks that "it's 1938, and Iran is Germany, and Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs".NEWS,weblink Peter, Hirschberg, Netanyahu: It's 1938 and Iran is Germany; Ahmadinejad is preparing another Holocaust, Haaretz, 14 November 2006, 29 July 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 7 April 2012, dead, dmy, On 20 February 2009, after being asked to be the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu described Iran as the greatest threat that Israel has ever faced: "Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence."NEWS,weblink Binyamin Netanyahu targets Iran after he is appointed Prime Minister, Byers, David, Hider, James, 20 February 2009, The Times, London, 24 September 2009, Speaking before the UN General Assembly in New York on 24 September 2009, Netanyahu expressed a different opinion than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the forum, saying those who believe Tehran is a threat only to Israel are wrong. "The Iranian regime", he said, "is motivated by fanaticism ... They want to see us go back to medieval times. The struggle against Iran pits civilization against barbarism. This Iranian regime is fueled by extreme fundamentalism." "By focusing solely on Iran," columnist Yossi Melman speculated that Netanyahu's foreign policy, "... took the Palestinian issue off the world agenda." After four days of shelling from the Iranian-funded Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Melman asked, "Is it worth initiating a crisis with Iran? Will the Israeli public be able to cope with Iran's response?"NEWS,weblink Under Fire, Yossi, Melman, 15 March 2012, Tablet, 16 March 2012, According to Uzi Eilam, a retired brigadier general and the ex-director of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, Benjamin Netanyahu is using the threat of atomic Iran as a means of reaching his own goals. Directly blaming Netanyahu, he said: "Netanyahu is using the Iranian threat to achieve a variety of political objectives." He also said: "These declarations are unnecessarily scaring Israel's citizens, given Israel is not party to the negotiations to determine whether Iran will or will not dismantle its nuclear program."NEWS, Bergman, Ronen, Ex-atomic agency chief: Netanyahu using scare tactics on Iran nuclear program,weblink Ynetnews, 15 February 2016, File:Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Prime Minister and Defense Minister at Weaponry Display.jpg|thumb|left|Standing with Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, Netanyahu holds an Iranian instruction manual for the anti-ship missile captured in Victoria AffairVictoria AffairBy 2012, Netanyahu is reported to have formed a close, confidential relationship with Defense Minister Ehud Barak as the two men considered possible Israeli military action against Iran's nuclear facilities,NEWS,weblink 2 Israeli Leaders Make the Iran Issue Their Own, Bonner, Ethan, The New York Times, 28 March 2012, 28 March 2012, WEB,weblink Israel: Possible Strike Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities, Congressional Research Service, 28 September 2012, 2 October 2012, following Israel's established Begin Doctrine. The pair were accused of acting on "messianic" impulses by Yuval Diskin, former head of the Shin Bet, who added that their warmongering rhetoric appealed to "the idiots within the Israeli public".NEWS,weblink Netanyahu, Barak 'not fit to lead Israel' and wrong on Iran, Shmulovich, Michael, 28 April 2012, The Times of Israel, 29 April 2012, Diskin's remarks were supported by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan,NEWS,weblink Olmert opposes strike on Iranian nuclear program, 25 April 2012, Associated Press, The Times of Israel, 30 April 2012, Meir Dagan, Israel's ex-Mossad chief, told the station he supported Diskin., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 September 2010, who himself had previously said that an attack on Iran was "the stupidest thing I have ever heard".NEWS,weblink Former Mossad chief: Israel air strike on Iran 'stupidest thing I have ever heard', Yossi Melman, 7 May 2011, Haaretz, 28 April 2012, A few weeks later, the RAND Corporation (a leading American think-tank that advises the Pentagon) also openly disagreed with Netanyahu's belligerent stance: "In doing so, and without naming names, RAND sided with former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former head of the Shin Bet Yuval Diskin."NEWS, Top U.S. think tank warns against Israeli, American strike on Iran, Amir, Oren,weblink Haaretz, 16 May 2012, 16 March 2013, Early in 2012, he used the opening ceremony for Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day to warn against the dangers of an Iranian nuclear bomb, saying he was following the example of Jewish leaders during World War II who struggled to raise the alarm about the Nazis' genocidal intentions.NEWS,weblink PM: 'Warning of Iranian threat is best way to honor Holocaust victims{{'-, |last= Ser |first= Sam |date= 18 April 2012 |newspaper= The Times of Israel |accessdate=18 April 2012 }} Israeli academic Avner Cohen accused Netanyahu of showing "contempt" for the Holocaust by putting it to "political use",NEWS,weblink Netanyahu's contempt for the Holocaust, Avner Cohen, Avner Cohen, 19 March 2012, Haaretz, 31 March 2012, and former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami similarly condemned Netanyahu's "vulgar manipulation of the memory of the Holocaust".WEB,weblink Iran's Nuclear Grass Eaters, Shlomo Ben-Ami, 4 April 2012, Project Syndicate, 5 April 2012, Immediately after the 2012 Burgas bus bombing, Netanyahu confirmed that the attack had been undertaken in coordination with Iran.NEWS, Netanyahu: Hezbollah, directed by Iran, carried out Burgas terror attack,weblink The Times of Israel, 19 July 2012, 16 March 2013, File:Demonstrations and protests against United States recognition of Jerusalem in Tehran 032.jpg|thumb|Protest against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, Tehran, 11 December 2017]]Netanyahu stated during a 29 July meeting that, in his opinion, "all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian programme by one iota".NEWS,weblink The Nation (Pakistan), The Nation, Pakistan, 30 July 2012, Iran unmoved by curbs, says Netanyahu, 30 July 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2013, dmy-all, And in August he stated that the United States only might respond to a massive attack against Israel.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu: If Israel attacks Iran, I will take responsibility for the consequences, Ravid, Barak, 3 August 2012, Haaretz, 17 March 2013, On 28 September 2012, Netanyahu gave a speech to the UN General Assembly in which he set forward a "red line" of 90% uranium enrichment, stating that if Iran were to reach this level, it would become an intolerable risk for Israel.NEWS, Netanyahu: Red Line is when Iran Reaches 90% of Enriched Uranium, Gil, Ronen,weblink Arutz Sheva, 27 September 2012, 6 March 2013, Netanyahu used a cartoon graphic of a bomb to illustrate his point, indicating three stages of uranium enrichment, noting that Iran had already completed the first stage, and stating that "By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, [Iran] will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there, it's only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb." Netanyahu delivered his speech the day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, a presentation that the American, Canadian, and Israeli delegations had deliberately not attended.NEWS,weblink 26 September 2012, Ahmadinejad blasts US, Israel in UN speech boycotted by Western diplomats, New York Post, 28 September 2012, At the time, according to cables leaked in 2015, Mossad's assessment was that Iran did not appear ready to enrich uranium to levels required for a nuclear bomb.Seumas Milne, Ewen MacAskill and Clayton Swisher, 'Leaked cables show Netanyahu’s Iran bomb claim contradicted by Mossad,' The Guardian 23 February 2015.In an October 2013 interview with BBC Persian Service, Netanyahu praised the history of Persia and said: "If the Iranian regime has nuclear weapons, the Iranian people will never be free of dictatorship and will live in eternal servitude."WEB,weblink 3 October 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 7 October 2013, PM Netanyahu is Interviewed for the First Time in the Persian-language Media, The Prime Minister of Israel Official Website,

Bank of China terror financing case

In 2013, Netanyahu found himself caught between conflicting commitments made to the family of American terror victim Daniel Wultz and the Government of China. Although Netanyahu was reported to have previously promised U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that Israel would fully cooperate in the terror-financing case against Bank of China in U.S. District Court, the prime minister reportedly made a conflicting promise to the Government of China prior to a state visit to China in May 2013.MAGAZINE, Loeffler, James,weblink Uncivil Damages: American victims of terrorism are suing a Chinese bank. Israel is trying to stop them, Slate (magazine), Slate, New York, 13 February 2014, 13 February 2014, Attorney David Boies, lead counsel for the Wultz family, told the Wall Street Journal, "While we are respectful of China's interests, and of the diplomatic pressure to which Israel has been subjected, those interests and that pressure cannot be permitted to obstruct the ability of American courts to hear critical evidence."NEWS, Balmer, Crispian,weblink U.S. court urged to reject Israeli attempt to silence witness, Reuters, Jerusalem, 17 December 2014, 17 December 2014, NEWS,weblink Families Urge PM: Don't Give Into Terror, Arutz Sheva, Miami, 23 July 2013, 17 July 2013, In August 2013, Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House Middle East and South Asia subcommittee, told the Miami Herald she raised the issue while leading a congressional delegation to Israel, stressing to Israeli officials the importance of them providing the Wultz family what they need for their lawsuit.NEWS, Benn, Evan,weblink Weston family faces frustration of court fight after grief of terror bombing, Miami Herald, Miami, 22 August 2013, 22 August 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 August 2013, "I am hopeful that we can bring this case to a conclusion that is satisfactory to the family, but we need community support to not waver at this critical time," Ros-Lehtinen said.U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, also spoke out on the issue with the Miami Herald: "In South Florida, we all know too well of the tragic circumstances surrounding the cowardly terrorist attack that took Daniel Wultz's innocent life. I have been working, hand in hand with the Wultz family and the state of Israel to ensure any and all of those involved in this terrorist activity, including the Bank of China, pay for their crimes so that justice can be served."

Defense and security

File:Btselem-south_israel2.jpg|thumb|Israelis in Ashkelon run for shelter following a missile alert during Operation Protective EdgeOperation Protective EdgeIn 2011, Netanyahu arranged for 1000 Hamas and Fatah prisoners to be swapped for Gilad Shalit, including terrorists with "blood on their hands".NEWS, Hamas: Israel Crossed its Own Red Lines, Gabe, Kahn,weblink Arutz Sheva, 18 October 2011, 16 March 2013, Israeli officials estimate that 60% of those who are released "resume terrorism attacks".NEWS, Gilad Shalit Release: Israel's Joy Tempered by Memories of an Intifadeh, Karl, Vick,weblink Time, 18 October 2011, 17 March 2013, In 2011, Israeli General Staff concluded that the armed forces cannot maintain their battle readiness under Netanyahu's proposed cuts.Harel, Amos. "IDF battle readiness to suffer if budget cut, senior officers warn". Haaretzr, 11 October 2011. However Netanyahu decided to cut social programs instead, and promised to increase the defense budget by about six percent.NEWS, Netanyahu decides not to cut Israel's defense budget in 2012, Moti, Bassok,weblink Haaretz, 26 December 2011, 16 March 2013, NEWS, Israel to increase defence budget by $700m,weblink Al Jazeera English, 9 January 2012, 17 March 2013, In spite of this, the Israeli military still fell NIS 3.7 million short from its projected budget, which could damage their war capabilities.Harel, Amos. "IDF to ground warplanes, freeze Iron Dome production over budget woes". Haaretz. 12 February 2012. According to a U.S. State Department representative in November 2011, under the leadership of Netanyahu and Obama, Israel and the United States have enjoyed unprecedented security cooperation.Shapiro, Andrew J. "Ensuring Israel's Qualitative Military Edge". U.S. State Department, 4 November 2011.Under Netanyahu's leadership, the Israeli National Security Council has seen an expanded role in foreign policy planning and decision-making.NEWS,weblink Inside Israel's White House: How Netanyahu runs the country, Haviv Rettig Gur, 6 January 2014, The Times of Israel, 6 January 2014,

Illegal immigration

In his 1995 book Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism, Netanyahu strongly argued that tightening immigration laws in the West is the most effective method to combat terrorism. "This era of immigration free-for-all should be brought to an end", he wrote in 1995.In 2012 the Netanyahu government passed the "Prevention of Infiltration Law", which mandated automatic detention of all people, including asylum-seekers, who enter Israel without permission. Amnesty International called it "an affront to international law".WEB, 8 October 2012,weblink Israel: Asylum Seekers Blocked at Border, Human Rights Watch, 16 September 2014, WEB, 10 January 2012,weblink Israel: New detention law violates rights of asylum-seekers, Amnesty International, 16 September 2014, Between 2009 and 2013, approximately 60,000 people crossed into Israel from various African countries.NEWS, Israel to jail illegal migrants for up to three years, Allyn, Fisher-Ilan,weblink Reuters, 3 June 2012, 16 March 2013, Netanyahu said that, "this phenomenon is very grave and threatens the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity.""Israel PM: illegal African immigrants threaten identity of Jewish state". The Guardian. 20 May 2012. Many of these migrants are held in detention camps in the Negev desert."'We are prisoners here', say migrants at Israel's desert detention camp". The Daily Telegraph. 4 April 2014. When the Supreme Court of Israel declared the "Prevention of Infiltration Law" illegal for permitting immediate and indefinite detention of asylum seekers from Africa, Netanyahu requested new legislation to work around the Supreme Court ruling.Jewish refugee organization slams Netanyahu on asylum seekers Haaretz, 10 October 2014Netanyahu is critical of what he sees as the overly open immigration policy of EU nations. Netanyahu has urged the leaders of Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland to close their borders to illegal immigration.Raphael Ahren (19 July 2017), "In hot mic comments, Netanyahu lashes EU's 'crazy' policy on Israel", The Times of Israel

Personal life


{{family tree/start|align=center}}{{family tree | | | | | | | NM |y| SL |NM=Nathan Mileikowsky(1879–1935)Writer, Zionist activist |SL=Sarah Lurie}}{{family tree | | | | | | | |,|-|^|-|.}}{{family tree | | | TS |y| BN | | EN |y| SS |TS=Tzila Segal(1912–2000) |BN=Benzion Netanyahu(1910–2012)Historian |EN=Elisha Netanyahu(1912–1986)Mathematician |SS=Shoshana Shenburg(1923–)Supreme Court justice}}{{family tree | |,|-|-|-|+|-|-|-|.| | | |!}}{{family tree | YN | | BN | | IN | | NN |YN=Yonatan Netanyahu(1946–1976)Military Commander |BN=Benjamin Netanyahu(1949–)Prime Minister of Israel |IN=Iddo Netanyahu(1952–)Physician, playwright |NN=Nathan Netanyahu(1951–)Computer scientist}}{{family tree/end}}File:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - P.M. Netanyahu at Memorial Service for Yoni.jpg|thumb|upright|Benjamin Netanyahu at the grave of his brother Yoni NetanyahuYoni NetanyahuNetanyahu comes from a highly accomplished family. Related to Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna (the Vilna Gaon) on his paternal side,BOOK, Tidhar, David, Entsiklopediyah le-halutse ha-yishuv u-vonav, Tel-Aviv, 1947, v.1, pp.186–187,

Family and background

Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv,WEB,weblink Biography: Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud, 15 September 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 April 2009, dmy, to Prof. Benzion Netanyahu (original name Mileikowsky) and Tzila (Cela; née Segal). His mother was born in 1912 in Petah Tikva, then in Ottoman Palestine, now Israel. Though all his grandparents were born in the Russian Empire (now Belarus, Lithuania and Poland), his mother's parents emigrated to Minneapolis in the United States.BOOK, Ronn, J. Michoel, The Dworskys of Lazdei: The History of a Lithuanian Jewish family from the mid-1700s until the Present, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1990,weblink 31 January 2014, J.M. Ronn, Netanyahu's father, Benzion, was a professor of Jewish history at Cornell University,NEWS, Brand, David, Lehman leads CU group into the desert to promote education – and peace,weblink Cornell University, 9 March 2004, 5 August 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 July 2008, editor of the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, and a senior aide to Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who remained active in research and writing into his nineties. Regarding the Palestinian people, he stated: "That they won't be able to face [anymore] the war with us, which will include withholding food from Arab cities, preventing education, terminating electrical power and more. They won't be able to exist, and they will run away from here. But it all depends on the war, and whether we will win the battles with them."NEWS,weblink he:אביו של נתניהו: הוא לא היה רה"מ מוצלח, 2 April 2009, Maariv, Hebrew, 19 March 2013, Netanyahu's paternal grandfather was Nathan Mileikowsky, a leading Zionist rabbi and JNF fundraiser.WEB,weblink The Maggid of Netanyahu, Alpert, Zalman, 29 April 2009, Zionist Organization of America, 6 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 October 2013, 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.

Marriages and relationships

File:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - P.M. BENJAMIN NETANYAHU LIGHTING HANUKA CANDLES WITH HIS WIFE AND SONS.jpg|thumb|Netanyahu lighting Hanukkah candles on the first night in the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem with his wife, Sara and their sons, Yair and Avner, 1996]]Netanyahu has been married three times. Netanyahu's first marriage was to Miriam Weizmann, whom he met in Israel. Weizmann lived near Yonatan Netanyahu's apartment in Jerusalem, where Netanyahu was based during his military service. By the time Netanyahu's service was finished, Weizmann had completed her own military service and a degree in chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1972, they both left to study in the United States, where she enrolled in Brandeis University, while Netanyahu studied at MIT. They married soon afterward. The couple had one daughter, Noa (born 29 April 1978).In 1978, while Weizmann was pregnant, Netanyahu met a non-JewishNEWS, Matthew Kalman, 10 April 2013, Netanyahu's women and the making of Psychobibi, The Times of Israel Blogs,weblink British student named Fleur Cates at the university library, and began an affair. His marriage ended in divorce soon afterward, when his wife Miriam discovered the affair. In 1981, Netanyahu married Cates, and she converted to Judaism.NEWS,weblink Star of Zion, David, Margolick, Vanity Fair, The couple divorced in 1984.NEWS, Hoffman, Gil,weblink MKs slam Netanyahu over his son dating a non-Jewish Norwegian woman, The Jerusalem Post, 26 January 2014, 31 January 2014, His third wife, Sara Ben-Artzi, was working as a flight attendant on an El Al flight from New York to Israel when they met. She was in the process of completing a master's degree in psychology.WEB,weblink Mrs. Sara Netanyahu, Office of the Prime Minister, The couple married in 1991 and has two sons: Yair (born 26 July 1991), a former soldier in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit,NEWS, Benjamin Netanyahu's son gets new IDF PR job, Li-or, Averbach,weblink Globes, 10 April 2011, 17 March 2013, and Avner (born 10 October 1994), a national Bible champion and winner of the National Bible Quiz for Youth in Kiryat Shmona.NEWS, Gordon, Evelyn,weblink Netanyahu Jr. wins National Bible Quiz – JPost – Israel, The Jerusalem Post, 17 March 2010, 27 October 2011, In 1993, Netanyahu confessed on live television to having had an affair with Ruth Bar, his public relations adviser. He said that a political rival had planted a secret video camera that had recorded him in a sexually compromising position with Bar, and that he had been threatened with the release of the tape to the press unless he quit the Likud leadership race. Netanyahu and Sara repaired their marriage, and he was elected to the leadership of Likud.NEWS, The Netanyahus: A colourful partnership,weblink, 28 March 2000, In 1996, the media reported that he had a 20-year friendship with Katherine Price-Mondadori, an Italian-American woman."Who Fired the Prime Minister's Nanny? The Soup Thickens", by Jack Katzenell, Associated Press, 7 July 1996 During the 1990s, Netanyahu criticized this media intrusion into his private life, claiming that political rivals including David Levy had hired spies to try to gather evidence of alleged affairs. The Israeli public are generally not interested in their politicians' private lives and would prefer they remained private.Politics and Society in Modern Israel: Myths and Realities, By Adam Garfinkle, M.E. Sharpe, 7 December 1999, p. 194.On 1 October 2009, his daughter Noa Netanyahu-Roth (married to Daniel Roth) gave birth to a boy, Shmuel.NEWS, Mazel Tov Mr. Prime Minister! Netanyahu's first grandson born,weblink Haaretz, 1 October 2009, 16 March 2013, NEWS, Photo Essay: Netanyahu's Grandson Named, Maayana, Miskin,weblink Arutz Sheva, 8 October 2009, 16 March 2013, In 2011, Noa and her husband Daniel had a second son named David,NEWS, Ronen, Gil,weblink Netanyahu Grandson Born – Inside Israel – News, Israel National News, 27 October 2011, and in 2016 had a daughter. Noa is a baalat teshuva (someone born to a secular family who returned to Orthodox Judaism) and lives in Mea Shearim with her family.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu Becomes a Zaide for the Third Time, David, Steger, 17 February 2016,, 17 February 2016,

Relations with foreign leaders

File:Barack_Obama_and_Benyamin_Netanyahu.jpg|thumb|upright|Netanyahu and Barack ObamaBarack ObamaNetanyahu has a close relationship with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, their having known each other for decades due to the privileged relationship between the Likud Party and the EPP, the European People's Party. Orban particularly admired Netanyahu while he was working as Finance Minister, and received advice from him while Netanyahu was Finance Minister of Israel.Hungarian PM: We share the same security concerns as Israel Friday 21 July 2017, Israel HayomNetanyahu has been noted for his close and friendly relationship with then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.Akiva Eldar (14 June 2011), "Netanyahu has joined his buddy Berlusconi in an alliance of rejects", Haaretz Netanyahu has said of Berlusconi: "We are lucky that there is a leader such as yourself."Netanyahu to Berlusconi: Israel lucky to have you as a friend Aviad Glickman 02.01.10 Netanyahu has described Berlusconi as "one of the greatest friends".Berlusconi says Israel should be an EU member Telegraph, 7:30 am GMT 2 February 2010Netanyahu has a warm relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, touting their "personal friendship" in April 2019.NEWS, The Daily Beast, With Help From Putin, Netanyahu Uses a Soldier's Remains to Boost His Election Chances, 4 April 2019,weblink NEWS, Al-Monitor, 4 April 2019,weblink Putin, Netanyahu break ground on deeper Russia-Israel engagement, During the 2011 G-20 Cannes summit, then French president Nicolas Sarkozy was overheard saying to then U.S. President Barack Obama, "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar", and Obama reportedly responded, "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day."Report: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu 'liar' Ynet News, 7 November 2011.Sarkozy to Obama: I'm fed up with Netanyahu, CBS News, 8 November 2011.Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump have known each other for many years.Donald Trump invites Benjamin Netanyahu to US after Israeli PM congratulates 'true friend of Israel' Lizzie Dearden, The Independent, 11/11/16 Netanyahu had been a friend of Donald Trump's father when Netanyahu lived in New York during the 1980s, serving as UN ambassador. In 2013, Trump made a video endorsing Netanyahu during the Israeli elections saying, "vote for Benjamin – terrific guy, terrific leader, great for Israel". In June 2019, Netanyahu officially renamed a settlement in the disputed Golan Heights after his "great friend" Donald Trump.NEWS, Golan Heights: Israel unveils 'Trump Heights' settlement,weblink BBC News, June 16, 2019, NEWS, Israel announces new Golan Heights settlement named 'Trump Heights',weblink CNN, June 17, 2019, Netanyahu has close ties with the congressional leadership of the U.S. Republican Party and with its 2012 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. He and Romney first became acquainted when both worked at the Boston Consulting Group in the mid-1970s.NEWS,weblink House G.O.P. Tightens Its Bond With Netanyahu, Jennifer Steinhauer, Steven Lee Myers, yes, The New York Times, 20 September 2011, 2 March 2012, NEWS, Romney to visit Israel, meet with Netanyahu, Maeve, Reston,weblink Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2012, 6 March 2013, Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has been friendly with Netanyahu for many years. In November 2011WEB,weblink In the Heart of Motor City, Vice President Biden Addresses Yeshiva Beth Yehuda, Bernstein, Jared, 18 November 2011, The White House, 17 March 2013, and in the 2012 U.S. vice presidential debate,NEWS,weblink Transcript And Audio: Vice Presidential Debate, 11 October 2012, NPR, 17 March 2013, Biden stated that the relationship has lasted for 39 years. Netanyahu remarked in March 2010 during a joint statement with Biden during his visit of IsraelWEB,weblink Remarks by Vice President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu in a Joint Statement to the Press, 9 March 2010, The White House, 17 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 April 2013, dmy-all, that their friendship had started almost three decades prior.File:Putin-Netanyahu-Moscow Victory Day Parade 09-05-2018.jpg|thumb|left|Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin during the Moscow Victory Day Parade on 9 May 2018]]In October 2014, author Jeffrey Goldberg related a conversation in which Goldberg said a senior official of the Obama administration called Netanyahu a "chickenshit" after Netanyahu accused U.S. President Barack Obama of "acting contrary to American values". Goldberg went on to say that Netanyahu and his cabinet were largely to blame for the tensions between the Netanyahu and Obama governments.Jeffrey Goldberg, The Crisis In US–Israel Relations Is Officially Here. The Atlantic, 28 October 2014 Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Netanyahu to clarify that "such statements are disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging" and "do not reflect the position of the United States".NEWS,weblink Kerry phones Netanyahu to apologize over 'chickenshit' slur, 31 October 2014, The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu responded by saying "I'm being attacked because of my determination to defend Israel's interests. The safety of Israel is not important to those who attack me anonymously and personally."NEWS,weblink Netanyahu: I'm being attacked because of my determination to defend Israel's interests, 29 October 2014, The Jerusalem Post, Because of evident rifts between Netanyahu and members of the Obama administration, observers have characterized the relationship as having reached a crisis level by October 2014.NEWS, Keinon, Herb, Herb Keinon,weblink Israelis more likely to blame Obama, not Benjamin Netanyahu, for 'crisis' in ties with US, The Jerusalem Post, 27 October 2014, 28 January 2015, NEWS, Bogost, Ian,weblink The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here, The Atlantic, 28 October 2014, 28 January 2015, The relationship between Netanyahu and the Obama administration had become problematic enough that Jeffrey Goldberg reported in November 2014 that his conversations with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials indicated Israel would wait until a new U.S. president is elected before attempting to repair the relationship with the White House. According to Alon Pinkas, a former diplomat and adviser to Israeli prime ministers, "Netanyahu’s self-righteousness that this resolution is going to be changed or reversed by Trump is totally unfounded."NEWS, Eglash, Ruth, Netanyahu summons U.S. envoy over anti-settlement resolution adopted by U.N.,weblink The Washington Post, 25 December 2016, 25 December 2016, On 23 December 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlements. In a departure from longstanding American policy, the U.S. abstained from the vote and did not exercise its veto power. At the behest of the Netanyahu government, President-elect Trump attempted to intercede by publicly advocating the resolution be vetoed and successfully persuading Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to temporarily withdraw it from consideration.NEWS, Baker, Peter, For Obama and Netanyahu, a Final Clash After Years of Conflict,weblink 23 December 2016, The New York Times, 25 December 2016, The resolution was then "proposed again by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela"—and passed 14 to 0. Netanyahu's office alleged that "the Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes", adding: "Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution."NEWS,weblink Egypt: Trump convinced Sisi to withdraw UN resolution, Al Jazeera, 23 December 2016, 23 December 2016, NEWS,weblink Egypt delays UN motion on Israel as Trump intervenes, BBC News, 23 December 2016, 23 December 2016, NEWS,weblink Israeli settlements: UN Security Council calls for an end, BBC News, 23 December 2016, 23 December 2016, File:2019 Jantar na Residência do Primeiro-Ministro de Israel.jpg|thumb|Netanyahu with Brazilian President Jair BolsonaroJair BolsonaroIn early 2018 the Polish parliament adopted a new Polish law criminalizing suggestions that Poles were collectively complicit in Holocaust-related or other war crimes that had been committed during World War II by the Axis powers.Israel and Poland try to tamp down tensions after Poland’s ‘death camp’ law sparks Israeli outrage, Washington Post, 28 January 2018Israel and Poland clash over proposed Holocaust law, Reuters, 28 January 2018 Later that year at the Munich Security Conference, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said "it is not going to be seen as criminal to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators (...) not only German perpetrators" implicated in the Jewish Holocaust.WEB,weblink Statements by Mateusz Morawiecki and Sebastian Kurz,, 2018-03-20,weblink 19 March 2018, dead, Netanyahu called his Polish counterpart's comment "outrageous" for saying that Jews had been among the Holocaust's perpetrators."Benjamin Netanyahu attacks Polish PM for saying Jews were among perpetrators of the Holocaust". The Independent. 18 February 2018. The resulting crisis in Israel–Poland relations was resolved in late June that year when the two prime ministers issued a joint communiqué endorsing research into the Jewish Holocaust and condemning the misnomer "Polish concentration camps".NEWS,weblink The Latest: Party Head: Israel Confirms Polish View on Nazis, 2018-07-07, en, According to Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, during the visit of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Jerusalem, Netanyahu failed to publicly address Ukraine’s official policy of rehabilitating local Nazi collaborators like UPA leader Roman Shukhevych who had participated in the murder of Jews.NEWS, Holocaust scholars worry that memory is a victim of Israel's warming ties with Eastern Europe,weblink Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 29, 2019, In March 2019, after being denounced by Turkey as a racist for saying that Israel was the nation-state of the Jewish people only, Netanyahu called the Turkish president Erdogan a dictator and mocked him for imprisoning journalists in a tweet.NEWS,weblink Erdogan calls Netanyahu 'thief' and 'tyrant' in latest spat, Associated Press, March 13, 2019, In response, Erdogan called Netanyahu as "the thief who heads Israel", referencing the ongoing corruption scandals against Netanyahu. In the same speech, Erdogan further escalated the spat by addressing to Netanyahu directly, saying "you are a tyrant. You are a tyrant who slaughters 7-year-old Palestinian kids."Netanyahu has developed a close relationship with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro following Bolsonaro's election in 2018.NEWS, Washington Post, Netanyahu embraces Brazil's far-right Bolsonaro in Israel, 31 March 2019,weblink NEWS, Times of Israel, 3 January 2019,weblink Brazil applauds Netanyahu-Bolsonaro bromance, new ties with Jewish state, Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan have tense relations.NEWS, Netanyahu: Erdogan's 'anti-Semitic' Jibe Desecrates Memory of Holocaust,weblink Haaretz, 20 July 2019, Netanyahu tweeted that "Erdogan is among Hamas's biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter."Israel expels Turkish consul Netanyahu condemned the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria and warned against ethnic cleansing of Kurds by Turkey and its proxies.NEWS,weblink Netanyahu Warns Against Turkey's Ethnic Cleansing of 'Gallant Kurds'; Vows to Assist, Haaretz, 10 October 2019,

Authored books

(File:Channel 2 - Benjamin Netanyahu.webm|thumb|Video clip about Benjamin Netanyahu by Israel News Company)
  • BOOK, International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, 1981, Transaction Publishers, 978-0878558940,
  • BOOK, Terrorism: How the West Can Win, 1987, Avon, 978-0380703210,
  • BOOK, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism, 1995, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 978-0374154929,weblink
  • BOOK, A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among the Nations, 1999, 1993, Grand Central Publishing, 978-0446523066,

See also



Further reading

  • Jonathan Freedland, "Trump's Chaver in Jerusalem" (review of Anshel Pfeffer, Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu, Basic Books, 2018), New York Review of Books, vol. LXV, no 13 (16 August 2018), pp. 32–34.
  • Anshel Pfeffer, Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu, Basic Books, 2018.
  • Adam Shatz, "The sea is the same sea" (review of Anshel Pfeffer, Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu, Hurst, May 2018, {{ISBN|978 1 84904 988 7}}), London Review of Books, vol. 40, no. 16 (30 August 2018), pp. 24, 26–28.

External links

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