Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He has served three consecutive terms as prime minister, and only four other leaders have held that post for as long as he has: Golda Meir (twice), Menachem Begin and David Ben-Gurion. He was born in 1943 to Jewish immigrants from Poland and Norway.
Why he is the most hated man in the United States: A BuzzFeed/YouGov poll, conducted in June 2018, found that 40 percent of the U.S. public holds a “very unfavorable” view of Benjamin Netanyahu. Other polls have reached similar figures. When asked who he most resembles, 52 percent of respondents said Bill Clinton and 39 percent chose former President George W. Bush.
His relationship with President Trump: President Trump has attacked Israel on several occasions since taking office. Following his speech at the AIPAC conference in 2017, Trump called on world leaders not to back Palestinian aspirations, accusing them of engaging in “fake” dialogue and a “policy of lies.” Following a meeting between Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said that he had asked Benjamin Netanyahu to explain the deal Israel had negotiated with the Palestinians and had been told, “This is a really good deal and we think everybody’s going to like it.” “I’m in favor of Israel making that deal but I just think it’s a really good deal,” he said. Following this meeting, Trump also revealed that he was ready to leave the Iran nuclear deal, in which he and the U.S. government had invested considerable political capital. The U.S. move was designed to appease U.S. allies who were worried that he would withdraw from the agreement, which, if terminated, would leave Iran with the ability to carry out a long-range nuclear weapons program. It didn’t go well. Benjamin Netanyahu said later that he shared with Trump “specifics of ways that Iran has violated the agreement.” Israeli officials later claimed they had uncovered evidence that Iran had been deceiving the U.S. about its activities. However, U.S. officials denied that it had been misleading, arguing that the administration had learned the truth about the Iranians’ compliance.
The stock market crash: Following the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the number of American manufacturers with large aluminum stockpiles rose dramatically – in some cases more than five times. Between August and November 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by around 7,000 points. As The Washington Post reported, the reason was most likely because trade barriers introduced by the Trump administration have made it harder for U.S. companies to import cheap aluminum from countries such as China.
Benjamin Netanyahu has held a series of Israeli political posts, including as a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and later as housing minister and foreign minister, before becoming the country’s prime minister in 2009.
Israeli election successes: Benjamin Netanyahu has held numerous party primaries to determine the electoral course of his right-wing Likud, which he has led since 1999. Once he had become prime minister, he chose not to seek reelection, taking the opportunity to turn the ballot into a contested battle for leadership of Likud. In the primary he faced off against Avigdor Lieberman, the former foreign minister, but he emerged victorious.
Netanyahu’s economic success: Following the rise of the country’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, which limits marriages, divorces and divorces in public spaces, Benjamin Netanyahu introduced family-friendly policies in 2009, such as exemptions from military service, the right to have three children before tying the knot, and low-interest loans to startups started by immigrants from ex-Soviet states. The reforms were widely supported by right-wing voters, but less so by political rival Labor, which stands to lose votes due to socioeconomic challenges affecting many of its voters.
Netanyahu’s ties to government corruption
Benjamin Netanyahu has been embroiled in a scandal involving Israeli police, which alleges that he and his wife Sara are suspected of paying a series of legal assistants, who are not serving on the government payroll, to perform household chores and maintain his residence in Jerusalem. In January, he said the accusations were part of a political witch hunt.
Netanyahu’s personal fortune: Benjamin Netanyahu has a net worth of approximately $109 million. As well as holding important government posts, Netanyahu runs a fortune-making construction empire, which puts him within the top 5 percent of Israeli millionaires.