To some, Benjamin Netanyahu a beloved leader who has consistently put their safety and security first. But to others, Benjamin Netanyahu a despised ruler who has shown a flagrant disregard for international, and potentially domestic, laws. But who is Bibi Netanyahu really?
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Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1949.
In 1963, the Netanyahus moved to the United States after Benzion, his father, accepted an academic post in Pennsylvania. The young Netanyahu attended Cheltenham High School, located in what was then a Jewish enclave in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Eventually, just days before his high school graduation ceremony, Netanyahu returned to Israel to serve in the IDF, or Israeli Defense Forces.
And Bibi thrived in the military.
Netanyahu would go back and forth between the US and Israel for some years after.
His political career started to take off around 1982. A family friend of the Netanyahus, Moshe Arens, was named the Israeli ambassador to the United States.
And just like that… Benjamin Netanyahu went from furniture company to foreign affairs….
He was asked to be Arens’ deputy at the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C.
Netanyahu’s American accent set him apart and made him an ideal voice of the Israeli government on American television. Bibi eventually went on to become Israel prime minister.
In February 2019, Israel’s Attorney General announced his intention to indict Netanyahu on bribery and fraud charges. But Netanyahu won his most recent election despite the three separate corruption cases against him, making this his fifth term as the Israeli prime minister.
Benjamin Netanyahu has spent decades in the public eye, and has rarely needed to compromise to achieve his political goals.But this started to change in the run-up to the last election, when corruption charges threatened his political position.So, who really is Netanyahu and how did he get his start? This is the rise of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
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NowThis World is dedicated to bringing you topical explainers about the world around you. Each week we’ll be exploring current stories in international news, by examining the facts, providing historical context, and outlining the key players involved. We’ll also highlight powerful countries, ideologies, influential leaders, and ongoing global conflicts that are shaping the current landscape of the international community across the globe today.