by: Ilse Posselt, BFP News Correspondent
Calling Israel “no ordinary country” can certainly be considered an understatement. The strip of land perched on the edge of the Middle East serves as the stage against which numerous biblical events played out—and the backdrop for ancient prophecy fulfilled today. The building blocks of the modern state are the promises spoken by the God of Israel, who pledged the land as an everlasting heritage to the children of Abraham. Those who call the Promised Land home have returned from the four corners of the world, according to the Almighty’s age-old pledge.
With such an extraordinary past, present and promised future, it stands to reason that Israel requires extraordinary men and women to lead the nation. David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres all fall into this category. Yet no list of exceptional Israeli leaders would be complete without a spot for the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu, or Bibi, as he is known throughout Israel, is the Jewish state’s ninth prime minister and currently serves his fourth non-consecutive term leading the nation. Husband of Sara, father of Noa, Avner and Yair, chairman of Israel’s Likud political party, decorated Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hero, war veteran and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate, Netanyahu has worn many hats, achieved many firsts and filled many roles during his 68 years.
In 1996, Netanyahu became Israel’s youngest prime minister and the first to be born after the modern state was founded in 1948. Nearly 20 years later in 2015, he became the first leader to be sworn in as Israeli prime minister four times. He is known for meeting and inking an agreement with notorious Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in search of peace. In recent years, he has expressed his skepticism regarding the land-for-peace approach and often gives his seal of approval for construction in Judea and Samaria. As prime minister, he has seen his nation through three wars with Hamas to ensure quiet on Israel’s southern border. His approach to peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians is direct negotiations with no preconditions and he has invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sit down for such talks—leader to leader—on a number of occasions. Two years ago he took a solitary and often unpopular stand, speaking out against the possibility of a nuclear Islamic Republic, while other international leaders sang the accord’s praises.
Let us take a look at the life journey of Israel’s prime minister.
SOURCE: Bridges for Peace