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The multi faceted Benjamin Netanyahu; combat soldier to the PM of Israel

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Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India is a huge boost in strengthening the political ties between the two countries. Addressed as a ‘friend’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this 6-day visit could spell newer economic and financial beginnings which everyone will look forward to.

The Israeli PM is a powerhouse politician who, not only has an illustrious political career to his credit, but also a celebrated calling with his country’s armed forces. He has a splendid educational background and is at present the 9th serving Israeli Prime Minister.

Netanyahu was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv, to an Israeli-born mother, Tzila Segal and a Warsaw-born father, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu. Initially raised and educated in Jerusalem, he was popular as a courteous, polite and helpful child who was responsible and punctual. He was also known to be friendly, disciplined, cheerful, brave, active and obedient.

Also Read: Israeli Prime Minister receives ceremonial reception; says ‘dawn of new era’…

Netanyahu spent a considerable part of his growing up days in the United States of America. Between 1956 and 1958 and again from 1963 to 1967, his family lived in Philadelphia.
After completing high school, he returned to Israel to join the Israel Defense Forces. He trained as a combat soldier and served for five years in an elite special forces unit of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal, taking part in numerous cross-border assault raids during the 1967–70 War of Attrition. He was involved in many other missions, including Operation Inferno(1968), and the rescue of the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in May 1972, in which he was shot in the shoulder too.

After completing his army service in 1972, Netanyahu returned to the United States to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But he returned to Israel in 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War where he fought in special forces raids along the Suez Canal against the Egyptian forces. He also undertook a commando attack deep inside Syrian territory, whose mission remains classified even till today.

His love for studies warranted him to return to the United States to complete a dual degree in architecture and another one from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1976.
After graduating, he worked as an economic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in Massachusetts for about two years before returning to Israel for good.

After coming back, Netanyahu was involved with different aspects of politics. In 1978, he founded the Jonathan Netanyahu Anti-Terror Institute,[15] a non-governmental organization devoted to the study of terrorism and served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 to 1988.

By 1993, he was fully immersed in politics, becoming the leader of Likud in 1993 and winning the 1996 elections to become Israel’s youngest ever Prime Minister.

In December 2006, Netanyahu became the official Leader of the Opposition in the Knesset and Chairman of Likud. After his remarkable victory in the 2013 elections, he became the second person to be elected to the office of the Prime Minister for a third term. Netanyahu is the only prime minister in Israel’s history to have been elected three times in a row. He is currently the second longest-serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history, and if his current government lasts a full term, he will become the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of Israel.

He has been married three times. Netanyahu’s first marriage was to Miriam Weizmann and they have a daughter. After his divorce with her, he married Cates in 1981. The marriage lasted about 3 years.
He is currently married to Sara Ben-Artzi and they have two sons together.

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