Benjamin Netanyahu was born in Tel-Aviv on October 21, 1949. He served as a soldier and officer in an elite commando unit in the Israel Defense Forces (1967-1972). A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a bachelors’ degree in architecture and a masters in business administration, Mr. Netanyahu worked in consulting and management positions in industry in the United States and Israel. Since 1976 he has been a director of the Jonathan Institute, a foundation studying ways to combat terrorism.
As Chairman of the Likud Party since 1993, Benjamin Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister of Israel in May 1996 in the first direct election of prime minister in Israel. He also holds the Housing and Construction portfolio.
Mr. Netanyahu previously served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations (1984-88) and Deputy Head of Mission to the United States (1982-1984). In 1984, he was a member of the first Israeli delegation to the US-Israel strategic talks. Netanyahu served as Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister (1988-1991) and as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (1991-1992). He was a member of Israel’s delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and to the subsequent peace talks in Washington (1991-1992). He has been a Member of Knesset since 1988. In the 13th Knesset (1992-1996), he was a member of the Knesset Committees on Foreign Affairs and Security, and on Constitution, Law and Justice.
Mr. Netanyahu has written numerous articles in the American press and has appeared often on American television programs dealing with the Middle East. He is the editor of several books, including: “Terrorism: How the West Can Win” (1986), and “International Terrorism: Challenge and Response” (1991). More recently, he has authoried “A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World” (1993), and “Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism (1995).
Netanyahu is married and the father of three.