(Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין נְתַנְיָהוּ  Born 21 October 1949)


TRUMP’s FRIEND AND JAREDS —  “ Gods Father ”

He is an Israeli politician who has been Prime Minister of Israel since 2009, having previously held the position from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu is also the Chairman of the Likud – National Liberal Movement. 

He is the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israeli history and the first to be born in Israel after the establishment of the state.Born in Tel Aviv to secular Jewish parents, Netanyahu was raised in both Jerusalem and the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, United States. He returned to Israel immediately upon graduating high school in 1967 to join the Israel Defense Forces shortly after the Six-Day War.

Netanyahu became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit and took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder. 

Netanyahu fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory.

Netanyahu achieved the rank of captain before being discharged. After graduating from MIT with a Bachelor of Science (SB) and a Master of Science (SM), Netanyahu became an economic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. He moved back to Israel in 1978 to found the Yonatan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute, named after his brother Yonatan Netanyahu, who died leading Operation Entebbe.

In 1984, Netanyahu was appointed the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, a role he held until 1988. He was subsequently elected to the Knesset before becoming the leader of Likud in 1993; he then led the party to victory at the 1996 election, becoming Israel's youngest-ever prime minister. After being defeated in the 1999 election, Netanyahu left politics, returning to the private sector. He later served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance in the government of Ariel Sharon, but eventually resigned over disagreements regarding the Gaza disengagement plan. As Finance Minister, Netanyahu initiated major reforms of the Israeli economy that were credited by commentators as having significantly improved Israel’s subsequent economic performance.

Netanyahu returned to the leadership of Likud in December 2005 after Sharon stepped down to form a new party, Kadima. Although Likud finished second in the 2009 election to Kadima, Netanyahu was able to form a coalition government with other right-wing parties and was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second time.

He went on to lead Likud to victory in the 2013 and 2015 elections. After the April 2019 electionresulted in no party being able to form a government, a second election took place in September 2019; in that election, the centrist Blue and White party emerged slightly ahead of Netanyahu's Likud. However, neither Netanyahu nor Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party was able to form a government, and Gantz returned the mandate to the president.

Since December 2016, Netanyahu has been under investigation for corruption by Israeli police and prosecutors. On 21 November 2019, he was indicted on charges of breach of trust, bribery and fraud. Due to the indictment, Netanyahu is legally required to relinquish all of his ministry posts other than the prime minister position.


From The Israeli Press - Haaretz 2020
Alon Mizrahi was a flamboyant Israeli football striker known for his stellar performances on the field in the 1990s as well as his flaky statements in between. Of the latter, Mizrahi’s most fondly-remembered inanity came in response to a reporter’s question about his ambitions to play abroad: “I’d like to play in Europe or in Spain,” he said.

Mizrahi’s novel geography was the first thing that came to mind after hearing President Donald Trump declare a travel ban on a Europe that does not include the United Kingdom, Ireland and Eastern European countries that are not part of the open-border Schengen area. The UK’s exclusion was doubly bizarre given its relatively high rate of coronavirus cases, the sixth highest in what is otherwise known as Europe. It’s probably because he has golf clubs there, cynics concluded.

Trump’s Mizrahi-style atlas, however, was but a minor hiccough in a presidential speech that was supposed to calm an increasingly anxious America, which probably achieved the opposite. US administration officials spent the ensuing 24 hours trying to clean up the mess.

Trump said the ban would include trade and cargo, but it actually doesn’t. He said the travel ban would be complete, when it isn’t. He insisted insurers had agreed to waive copays for coronavirus treatment, but they actually hadn’t. He totally ignored the main challenge currently facing U.S. medical providers – the lack of sufficient testing. He portrayed the disease as an economic challenge rather than a potential human catastrophe. And he intimated that the coronavirus was “foreign," as if its source made any difference whatsoever.

After three years of finding disturbing parallels between Trump and his ally, Benjamin Netanyahu, the coronavirus crisis has cast them as diametric opposites. Trump downplayed the virus as a trifle, if not a Democratic “hoax," while Netanyahu was hands-on from the outset and, according to some experts, overly-alarmist. Trump was reluctant to take measures that could hurt the economy; Netanyahu quarantined Israel and shut it out from the outside world, economic circumstances be damned.

Trump’s handling of the crisis has undermined public confidence in his presidency and is seen as a potentially major obstacle on his way to reelection; Netanyahu has scored rave reviews even among major critics for his forthrightness and resoluteness: The coronavirus may yet save his moribund political career.   

Coronavirus cases in Israel spike to 126, nearly 2,500 medical officials quarantinedU.S. coronavirus cases pass 1,000 as states race to contain outbreakIsraeli research center to announce it developed coronavirus vaccine, sources say

The sense of national emergency in Israel, if not impending doom, has cast a pall over the seemingly Sisyphean efforts of Netanyahu’s rival Benny Gantz to set up a narrow government that would be supported on the outside by the largely Arab Joint List. It has increased pressure on Gantz and Kahol Lavan to end their boycott of Netanyahu and join a national emergency government, even if it means reneging on their campaign pledge to never join a Netanyahu-led coalition. You’ve already broken your promise not to rely on the Joint List, Gantz is being told; it should be easy for you to nix your boycott of Netanyahu as well.

Not that Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis has been devoid of political pitfalls: He exempted the U.S. from Israel’s travel ban, despite its spread in major travel hubs to Israel such as California and New York, so as not to reflect badly on Trump. His Health Ministry added Israeli attendees at the recent AIPAC conference to the list of those required to quarantine themselves 10 days after potential corona-carriers had returned from Washington and walked around freely among unsuspecting Israelis.


Contrary to Trump but with similar aims in mind, Netanyahu is suspected of overhyping the dangers of the virus in order to obscure the fact that after a decade of sustained budget cuts, Israel’s public health system is woefully unprepared to test masses of suspected coronavirus carriers, or to provide severe cases with adequate intensive care facilities. Netanyahu, it is alleged, has ramped up prevention to the max because Israel’s health system could collapse under the weight of mass treatment and cure.

Politically, however, the coronavirus outbreak has allowed Netanyahu to steal the media limelight with daily press conferences that may be objectively superfluous but nonetheless accentuate the differences between a prime minister ostensibly consumed by a national crisis and a rival who is wheeling and dealing at the same time with “Israel’s worst enemies.”

While Netanyahu is conveying hygienic instructions on how to properly sneeze and wash hands, Gantz is ostensibly dipping his own in the cesspool of coalition politics. The changed priorities of the public have pit Netanyahu at center stage, as a benevolent father figure looking out for his flock while Gantz delves in same-old, same-old political machinations. Image-wise, Netanyahu is on a high, while Gantz seems to be down in the dumps.

One is tempted to predict that the inevitable outcome of this situation is the establishment of a Likud-Kahol Lavan emergency government but for one critical factor: Netanyahu isn’t interested. Whatever its advantages, a coalition with Kahol Lavan fails to deliver the one and only prize that Netanyahu truly covets: An exemption from his criminal trial, which is slated to begin next Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court. Even if Kahol Lavan succumbs to public pressure and agrees to join a coalition led by Netanyahu, it would never agree to measures or legislation that would get Netanyahu off the legal hook.

This leaves Netanyahu with only two viable options and one cataclysmic scenario, in which the Supreme Court declares him ineligible to form a new cabinet. The less likely option for Netanyahu is that Likud will successfully entice three members of the opposition to defect, giving him the 61-seat majority in the Knesset he desires. The more likely option, unfathomable as it may sound, is to steer the country to a fourth consecutive election, which would ensure that Netanyahu stays on as interim prime minister for another six months at least.

Netanyahu may believe, not without justification, that with the coronavirus in the background, his fourth attempt could deliver the absolute victory that was denied to him in his first three efforts. Which could lead to an irony of ironies: A fourth election is likely to be held in September, before the start of the High Holidays, or after them in October, less than a month before the U.S. presidential elections. The way things stand now, the same coronavirus that could help Netanyahu stay in power could also defeat Trump and bring a Democrat to the White House.

ATCH 10-27-2020