Connect with us

News

Biden met with Israel’s controversial former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Who is he?

Though US President Joe Biden and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu are politically polar opposites, the two leaders’ relationship goes back decades.

Published

on

Israel, a close partner of the United States, served as the starting point of President Joe Biden’s Middle East visit on Thursday.

Security is the main goal of the journey. According to the Times of Israel, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed the “Jerusalem Declaration” on Thursday in which the two countries pledge to use “all aspects of its (U.S.) national strength” to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Lapid and Biden both have a centrist stance on issues. However, a change in the Israeli administration may entice Benjamin Netanyahu, a hardcore conservative, back into the fold.

What you need know about Israel’s former prime minister is provided here.

Advertisement

Visiting Biden: Israel is the first Middle Eastern country that President Biden visits.

Netanyahu, who?

The longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history was Benjamin, or “Bibi,” Netanyahu. The right-wing Likud party in Israel’s opposition is currently led by the 72-year-old politician.

According to the archives of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise’s Jewish Virtual Library, Netanyahu was first elected to political office in 1988 as a member of Israel’s unicameral legislature, the Knesset, from the Likud party and was designated deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Advertisement

Netanyahu won the election for prime minister over ten years later and held the position from 1996 to 1999. From 2009 until 2021, he was prime minister for a total of four more terms.

Who is he politically?

According to the Brookings Institute, Netanyahu is a right-wing populist who frequently rails against the “amorphous elite” and paints himself as a target of the political left and the media.

Whether his supporters like him or not While his opponents charge him with widespread misbehavior, he is referred to as “King Bibi” among his loyal supporters and associates. In three separate corruption charges, he is currently on trial.

Advertisement

Israeli political life Following the collapse of the government, Israel will hold a historic fifth election in three years.

What was the result of his tenure?

According to Foreign Affairs magazine, who called Netanyahu’s approach to policy “Reaganesque,” Netanyahu’s policies of privatization, deregulation, tax cuts, bureaucracy reductions, and banking reforms helped enhance economic growth in Israel.

However, his attempts to thwart a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict frequently resulted in violent clashes, including one that, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, resulted in at least thirteen Israeli fatalities, 250 Palestinian fatalities, and close to 2,000 other injuries.

Advertisement

When did he quit his job?

In June 2021, a coalition government made up of eight different parties from all political spheres took power, forcing Netanyahu out of office. Leading the charge and agreeing to a rotation for the prime minister’s post was Naftali Bennett and Lapid, the current prime minister.

Why is Biden seeing him in person?

Netanyahu and Biden have a long history of friendship, despite the fact that Netanyahu liked former President Donald Trump.

Advertisement

After losing his run for prime minister in 1999, Netanyahu said that Biden was the first American politician to send him a letter. According to the New York Times, former President Obama frequently utilized Biden to ease tensions between the two administrations.

The president’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said it’s “standard protocol” for the president to meet with leaders “across the Israeli political spectrum.” Biden may have best captured the relationship between the two leaders when he recalled signing a photo for Netanyahu with this direct note: “Bibi, I don’t agree with a damn thing you say but I love you.”

What did they talk about?

Netanyahu and Biden had a meeting on Thursday. According to a statement he released, Netanyahu called the interaction “a pleasant and excellent encounter.”

Advertisement

Netanyahu reportedly warned Biden that Israel needs a “serious offensive military option” in relation to Iran’s nuclear program, not merely economic sanctions or defensive military measures, according to the Times.

Netanyahu’s comeback Netanyahu plans to make a comeback. That might be a challenge for Biden’s Middle East policy.

Could Netanyahu win re-election?

It would be unprecedented if Netanyahu made a political comeback.

Advertisement

According to a recent article in USA TODAY, his re-election campaign is centered on two primary issues: alleging Lapid is depending on “terror supporters” to win the election, a reference to the Israeli-Arab parties in parliament, and promising to cut Israel’s consumer costs.

Netanyahu has already started releasing videos of himself speaking to Israelis about the cost of living in Jerusalem malls and markets in an effort to outdo his political adversaries on social media.

Contributors include Deirdre Shesgreen, Jotam Confino, and Maureen Groppe.

Originally published on USA TODAY, this article says: Benjamin Netanyahu, the divisive former prime minister of Israel, and Biden met. He is who?

Advertisement
Advertisement