BENJAMIN NETANYAHU Biography - Polititians


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Name: Benjamin Netanyahu                                                         
Born: 21 October 1949 Tel Aviv, Israel                                           
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu (born October 21, 1949, Tel Aviv) was the 9th Prime   
Minister of Israel and is Chairman of the Likud Party. As leader of the         
conservative Likud party, he was Prime Minister from June 1996 to July 1999. He 
is the first (and to date only) Prime Minister of Israel to be born after the   
State of Israel's foundation. He was Finance Minister of Israel until August 9, 
2005, having resigned in protest at the Gaza Disengagement Plan advocated by     
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Netanyahu retook the Likud leadership on December   
20, 2005. As of December 2006, he is the official leader of the Opposition in   
the Knesset and Chairman of the Likud Party. In August 2007 he retained the     
Likud leadership by beating Moshe Feiglin in party elections.                   
Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv, to Zila and Benzion Netanyahu (original name     
Milkosky). Netanyahu's relatives were Jews from Lithuania. Netanyahu's father is 
a professor of Jewish history, a former editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia, and a 
former senior aide to Zeev Jabotinsky. Netanyahu's elder brother Yonatan was     
killed during Operation Entebbe in 1976. His younger brother Iddo is a           
radiologist and writer. All three brothers served in the elite Sayeret Matkal   
reconnaissance unit. When he was 14 years old, his family moved to the United   
States and settled in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb, 
where he graduated from Cheltenham High School. He earned a B.S. degree in       
Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975, and an M.S. 
degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1977, and has studied         
political science at Harvard and MIT. After graduate school, Netanyahu worked at 
The Boston Consulting Group in Boston, and eventually returned to Israel. He has 
authored several books, including two on fighting terrorism. Netanyahu has a     
daughter, Noa, from his first marriage to Micki Weizman. His second marriage was 
to Fleur Cates, who converted to Judaism (only her father was a Jew). He is now 
married to his third wife, Sarah, with whom he has two sons, Yair and Avner.     
After a brief career in business, Netanyahu was appointed Deputy Chief of       
Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. in 1982. Subsequently, he     
became Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, serving from 1984 to 1988. He 
was elected to the Knesset in 1988 and served in the governments led by Yitzhak 
Shamir from 1988 to 1992. Shamir retired from politics shortly after Likud's     
defeat in the 1992 elections. In 1993, for the first time, the party held a     
primary election to select its leader, and Netanyahu was victorious, defeating   
Benny Begin, son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and veteran         
politician David Levy. (Ariel Sharon initially sought the Likud leadership as   
well, but quickly withdrew when it was evident that he was attracting minimal