Netanyahu joins world leaders in most influential list

'Time Magazine' poll ranks PM as 80th most influential person of 2011; others placed include Obama, Sarkozy and Justin Bieber.

April 21, 2011 19:11
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu open mouth 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Yin Dongxun)


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Joining the likes of US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was named by Time Magazine Thursday as one of the 100 most influential people of 2011.

Writing about the prime minister in the Time special, Council of Foreign Relations President Richard Haas described Netanyahu a person that "almost everyone" finds "hard to read."

Haas noted Netanyahu's ambiguous stance regarding Palestinian statehood and the clarifications he is expected to make in coming weeks as putting at stake, "nothing less than his legacy."

The blurb on the prime minister also pokes fun at his nickname among the Israeli public and media. "Now in his second stint as Israel's Prime Minister, he is Bibi; as with Bono, a single name suffices," Haas wrote.

"Bibi" was ranked 2011's 80th most influential person in the Time Magazine readers' poll.

Neighboring Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did not enjoy the same levels of support, coming in 135th in the poll. Noting the challenges his group faces with Hezbollah's ventures into Lebanon's tumultuous political world, Time writes that Nasrallah will be closely watched as Hezbollah "teeters between using force or politics to achieve its goals."

Acknowledging the changes taking place in the Middle East as a result of popular uprisings, the Time poll also named someone who was unknown to the world a few months ago, but now partly symbolizes the Egyptian revolution.

Coming in 26th on the list, Wael Ghonim, a Google executive, is credited as one of the main forces who used online social technologies such as Facebook to organize and amplify the revolution that toppled former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

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