Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel. Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the founding of the state.
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Biography
Benjamin Netanyahu's personal information overview.
home town
Tel Aviv-Yafo
Relationships
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News
News about Benjamin Netanyahu from around the web
Israel Caught in U.S.-Russia Rift Over Syria
Wall Street Journal - 10 days
A significant U.S. attack on Syria could shake Israel’s balancing act between superpowers and undo Benjamin Netanyahu’s understandings with the Kremlin about activities in his country’s backyard.
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 Wall Street Journal article
News Analysis: Netanyahu’s Reversal on Migrants Shows Influence of Hard-Line Allies
New York Times - 18 days
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced an outcry from his base over a deal with the United Nations to keep thousands of African migrants in Israel.
Article Link:
 New York Times article
In an abrupt turnaround, Netanyahu cancels deal to resettle African migrants in Israel. Now what?
LATimes - 18 days
As political flip-flops go, this one was as dramatic as they come. On Monday evening, in an elaborately staged address to the nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a new policy regarding refugees and migrants achieved through an agreement signed with the United Nations High...
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 LATimes article
Israel's Netanyahu scraps African migrant relocation deal
Reuters.com - 19 days
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he was cancelling an agreement with the U.N. refugee agency to relocate thousands of African migrants, bowing to right-wing pressure to scrap the deal.
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 Reuters.com article
Israel reaches agreement with U.N. on African refugees — then suspends it in face of criticism
LATimes - 19 days
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an “unprecedented agreement” with the United Nations on Monday that appeared, for a few hours, to provide a solution for tens of thousands of mostly African asylum seekers whose fate had moved hundreds of thousands of Israelis to protest against...
Article Link:
 LATimes article
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed to hospital with high fever
LATimes - 25 days
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hospitalized Tuesday , apparently suffering from a high fever and severe cough. Netanyahu was hospitalized Tuesday at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center after his personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkowitz, concluded that he had not sufficiently recovered...
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 LATimes article
Israeli police question Netanyahu in telecom corruption case
Reuters.com - 27 days
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday over his alleged dealings with the country's largest telecommunication company, Israel Radio said, in one of three corruption cases weighing on the leader's political future.
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 Reuters.com article
Israel to launch Big Data health project
Reuters.com - 28 days
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel will invest nearly 1 billion shekels ($287 million) in a project to make data about the state of health of its population available to researchers and private companies, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
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 Reuters.com article
In Israel’s Poorer Periphery, Legal Woes Don’t Dent Netanyahu’s Appeal
New York Times - about 1 month
The underdog sentiment and distrust of Israel’s old, liberal elite still run deep among Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supporters, who are sticking firmly by him, despite graft accusations.
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 New York Times article
Israeli politicians suspect Netanyahu seeks election to survive corruption probes
Yahoo News - about 1 month
By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A dispute within Israel's governing coalition over military conscription of ultra-orthodox Jewish men stirred speculation on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to see a snap election to help him survive corruption investigations. Right-wing and religious parties in the government are divided over the framing of a bill that would protect the exemption ultra-Orthodox men have traditionally enjoyed from compulsory military service. After coalition talks on Sunday, Netanyahu's office said cabinet ministers were waiting for ultra-Orthodox parties, which control 13 of the government's 66 seats in the 120-member parliament, to present a revised formula for the legislation.
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 Yahoo News article
Netanyahu Leaves U.S. On A High Note But Troubles Await Him At Home
NPR - about 1 month
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warmly received in the U.S. — but polls also show about half of Israelis want him to resign due to ongoing corruption investigations. (Image credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
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 NPR article
Netanyahu Details His Talk With Trump On Iran And Palestinians
NPR - about 2 months
In a freewheeling conversation with reporters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to talk on the record about explosive news back home, but did comment on his Oval Office meeting. (Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP)
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 NPR article
Israel's beleaguered Netanyahu finds respite with Trump and talks about Iran, not Palestinian peace
LATimes - about 2 months
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under siege from corruption investigations and other scandals back home, found a warm respite Monday at the White House at the start of a three-day U.S. visit expected to center on Iran, not the stalled Mideast peace process. Even as a criminal investigation...
Article Link:
 LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Benjamin Netanyahu
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    In May 2016, Netanyahu reported that a DNA test taken by his brother Ido found that they have some Sephardi ancestry.
    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.
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  • 2015
    In March 2015, Netanyahu was elected to his fourth term as prime minister.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    On 28 May 2015, Netanyahu announced that he would be running for an unprecedented fifth term a Prime Minister in the next general election and that he supports Likud's current process of picking MK candidates.
    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.
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    In 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.
    As 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.
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    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.
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    In January 2015, Netanyahu was invited to address the US Congress.
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  • 2014
    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.
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    Because of visible rifts between Netanyahu and members of the Obama administration, observers have characterized the relationship as having reached a crisis level by October 2014.
    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.
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    In October 2014, Netanyahu's government approved a privatization plan to reduce corruption and politicization in government companies, and strengthen Israel's capital market.
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    He blamed Hamas for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014, 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. 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. 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, and Israel started Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, formally ending the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.
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    In 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.
  • 2013
    In July 2013, he issued tenders for the construction of private ports in Haifa and Ashdod.
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    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.
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    In 2013, Netanyahu found himself caught between conflicting commitments made to the family of American terror victim Daniel Wultz and the Government of China.
    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.
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    After the victory in the 2013 elections, he became the second person to be elected to the position of Prime Minister for a third term, after Israel's founder David Ben-Gurion.
  • 2012
    Apart from his lukewarm relationship with the Obama administration, Netanyahu has close ties with the U.S. Republican Party and its leadership in the House of Representatives. Netanyahu and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have a close relationship that dates back to their work together at the Boston Consulting Group in the mid-1970s. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has been friendly with Netanyahu for many years. In November 2011 and in the 2012 U.S. vice presidential debate, Biden stated that the relationship has lasted for 39 years.
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    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.
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    Immediately after the 2012 Burgas bus bombing, Netanyahu confirmed that the attack had been undertaken in coordination with Iran.
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    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.
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    By 2012, Netanyahu is reported to have formed a close, confidential relationship with Defense Minister Ehud Barak as the two men consider possible Israeli military action against Iran's nuclear facilities, following Israel's established Begin Doctrine.
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    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.
    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.
    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.
  • 2011
    During the 2011 G-20 Cannes summit, Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was overheard saying to U.S. President Barack Obama, "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar".
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    In 2011, Netanyahu arranged for 1000 Hamas and Fatah prisoners to be swapped for Gilad Shalit, including terrorists with "blood on their hands."
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    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.
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  • 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.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    Netanyahu became a grandfather on 1 October 2009, when his daughter Noa Netanyahu-Roth (married to Daniel Roth) gave birth to a boy, Shmuel.
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    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...
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    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.
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    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.
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    On 7 September 2009, Netanyahu left his office without reporting where he was headed.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
    A July 2009 survey by Ha'aretz found that most Israelis support the Netanyahu government, giving him a personal approval rating of about 49 percent.
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    During President Obama's Cairo speech on 4 June 2009 in which Obama addressed the Muslim world, Obama stated, among other things, that "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."
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    Netanyahu presented his cabinet for a Knesset "Vote of Confidence" on 31 March 2009.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
  • 2008
    He opposed the 2008 Israel–Hamas ceasefire, like others in the Knesset opposition.
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  • 2007
    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.
  • 2006
    In the March 2006 Knesset elections, Likud took the third place behind Kadima and Labor and Netanyahu served as Leader of the Opposition.
  • 2005
    Netanyahu retook the leadership on 20 December 2005, with 47% of the primary vote, to 32% for Silvan Shalom and 15% for Moshe Feiglin.
    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.
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    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.
  • 2004
    Netanyahu threatened to resign from office in 2004 unless the Gaza pullout plan was put to a referendum.
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  • 2002
    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."
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    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.
    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.
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    Netanyahu returned to politics in 2002 as Foreign Affairs Minister (2002–03) and Finance Minister (2003–05) in Ariel Sharon's governments, but he departed the government over disagreements regarding the Gaza disengagement plan.
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  • 2000
    With the fall of the Barak government in late 2000, Netanyahu expressed his desire to return to politics.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    After being defeated by Ehud Barak in the 1999 election for Prime Minister, Netanyahu temporarily retired from politics.
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    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.
  • 1998
    He 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; Clinton denied the assertion.
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  • 1997
    In 1997, police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges for influence-peddling.
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    In January 1997 Netanyahu signed the Hebron Protocol with the Palestinian Authority which resulted in the redeployment of Israeli forces in Hebron and the turnover of civilian authority in much of the area to the Palestinian Authority.
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  • 1996
    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.
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    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.
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    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. 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.
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  • 1993
    In 1993, Netanyahu confessed on live television to having had an affair with Ruth Bar, his public relations adviser, claiming 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.
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  • 1991
    The couple married in 1991 and has two sons: Yair, a former soldier in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, and Avner, a national Bible champion and winner of the National Bible Quiz for Youth in Kiryat Shmona.
    During the Madrid Conference of 1991 Netanyahu was among members the Israeli delegation headed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
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    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.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1988
    Prior to the 1988 Israeli legislative election Netanyahu returned to Israel and joined the Likud party.
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  • 1984
    Between 1984 and 1988 Netanyahu served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.
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  • 1982
    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.
  • 1981
    In 1981, Netanyahu married Cates, and she converted to Judaism. The couple divorced in 1984.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1980
    From 1980 to 1982 he was director of marketing for Rim Industries in Jerusalem.
  • 1978
    In 1978, while Weizmann was pregnant, Netanyahu met a non-Jewish British student named Fleur Cates at the university library, and began an affair.
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    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.
    In 1978, Netanyahu returned to Israel.
    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...
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    After graduating from MIT with Bachelor of Science (SB) and Master of Science (SM) degrees, Netanyahu was recruited as an economic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. Netanyahu returned to Israel in 1978 to found the Yonatan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute, named after his brother Yonatan Netanyahu, who died leading Operation Entebbe.
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  • 1976
    Netanyahu's paternal grandfather was Nathan Mileikowsky, a leading Zionist rabbi and JNF fundraiser. Netanyahu's older brother, Yonatan, was killed in Uganda during Operation Entebbe in 1976.
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    In 1976 Netanyahu graduated near the top of his class at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and was headhunted to be an economic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in Boston, Massachusetts, working at the company between 1976 and 1978.
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    In 1976 Netanyahu's older brother Yonatan Netanyahu was killed.
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  • 1975
    He then returned to the United States and completed an SB degree in architecture in February 1975 and earned an SM degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1977.
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  • 1973
    He returned to Israel in October 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War in the Sayeret Matkal commando unit.
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  • 1972
    In 1972, they both left to study in the United States, where she enrolled in Brandeis University, while Netanyahu studied at MIT.
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    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 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.
  • OTHER
  • 1967
    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.
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    After graduating from high school in 1967, Netanyahu returned to Israel to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.
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  • 1956
    Between 1956 and 1958, and again from 1963 to 1967, his family lived in the United States in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he attended and graduated from Cheltenham High School and was active in a debate club.
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  • 1949
    Netanyahu was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Israeli-born mother, Tzila Segal (28 August 1912 – 31 January 2000) and Warsaw-born father, Prof.
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