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Tuesday, 30 May 2023
Netanyahu set to become Israel’s longest-serving PM on July 20

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to make history at the end of this week by becoming the longest-serving premier in Israel’s history.

He is set to surpass the country’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, on Saturday, July 20.

Ben Gurion led Israel for a total of 4,875 days — some 13 and a half years — from May 14, 1948, to January 26, 1954, and again from November 3, 1955, to June 26, 1963.

Netanyahu was prime minister between June 18, 1996, and July 6, 1999, and has also been premier consecutively since March 31, 2009.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting at Kibbutz Sde Boker, Israel, November 10, 2013. A portrait of the first Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion is seen at background. (AP Photo/David Buimovitch, Pool)

His total number of days in office as of Sunday, including Sunday, is 4,870. On Friday he is expected to match Ben-Gurion’s record and on Saturday he will break it.

Netanyahu is the third-longest-reigning current leader among OECD nations, after Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan (though he has changed the regime system to extend his own rule) and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

If past leaders of OECD nations since the end of World War II are considered, Netanyahu ranks 16th, according to statistics by the Israel Democracy Institute.

Among all currently serving leaders of nations — democratic and undemocratic — Netanyahu is number 35.

Netanyahu currently leads a transitional government until the September 17 elections, having failed to form a coalition following the April 9 Knesset vote.

He faces fraud and breach of trust charges in three corruption cases, pending a hearing, including bribery in one of them. The hearing is scheduled for early October.

However, Netanyahu is not legally required to step down until he is convicted and all his appeals against the conviction are rejected, meaning he could remain in office for several years even if convicted.