Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [C] and his wife Sara Netanyahu [L] at an event honoring families who lost relatives during the wars of Israel .
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister last Tuesday, and on Wednesday he was rewarded by Time magazine with inclusion for the fourth time in a decade on its list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
“Israel is Bibi’s nation,” Time columnist David French wrote in a short piece explaining the choice and noting Netanyahu’s recent reelection to a fifth term.
“The reasons for his enduring appeal are clear,” French wrote. “The Second Intifada undermined Israel’s political Left, with fresh memories of suicide bombers rebuking the idea that there exists a partner for peace. Ongoing rocket attacks launched by Hamas show that present dangers arereal. And Iran’s power and ambition signal that even two generations after the Yom Kippur War, Israel can face existential threats.”
French wrote that in spite of the dangers, Israel is growing more prosperous and powerful, with the elections showing that sufficient numbers of Israelis believe that Netanyahu is not only partly responsible for that success, “but that he’s the nation’s indispensable man.”
“And so he won again, in spite of facing serious allegations of corruption. Bibi certainly deserves his share of credit for Israel’s strength, but persuading Israelis that he alone could achieve it is his true political accomplishment,” French wrote.
Netanyahu reacted to his inclusion on the list with a Tweet thanking Time
for the choice and saying “I will continue to work with all my strength for our country.”
Netanyahu made the list in 2011, 2012 and then again in 2015. He is one of only 27 people who have been on the list four times or more, with Barack Obama having made the most appearances (11), followed by Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Chinese President Xi Jinping at 10 apiece.
Netanyahu joined another 25 people in the “leaders” category on the 2019 list, including US President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Pope Francis, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
The other categories included pioneers, artists, icons and titans.
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