Pub. Date:
Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu

Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu

by Anshel Pfeffer

NOOK Book(eBook)


Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now


A deeply reported biography of the scandal-plagued Israeli Prime Minister, showing that we cannot understand Israel -- its history, present, and future -- without first understanding the life and worldview of the man who leads it

Benjamin Netanyahu is embroiled in numerous scandals, all of his own making, and may soon be ousted from the office he has held longer than any prior Israeli Prime Minister outside of David Ben Gurion. But Bibi, as he is known by friend and foe alike, is no stranger to controversy. For many in Israel and elsewhere, he is an embarrassment, a threat to democracy, even a precursor to Donald Trump. He nevertheless continues to dominate Israeli public life -- and he may yet survive his current crises, the most challenging of his career. How can we explain Netanyahu's rise, his hold on Israeli politics, and his outsized role on the world's stage?

In Bibi, the Haaretz journalist Anshel Pfeffer argues that we must view Netanyahu as representing the triumph of the underdogs in the Zionist enterprise. Born in 1949, one year after the state of Israel itself, Netanyahu came of age in a nation dominated by liberal, secular Zionists. Yet Netanyahu's grandfather and father bequeathed to him a brand of Zionism integrating Jewish nationalism and religious traditionalism, and he identified with the groups at the margins of Israeli society: right-wing Revisionists, orthodox, Mizrahi Jews, and small-time professionals living in the new towns and cities dotting the Israeli landscape. Netanyahu cultivated each faction individually and then fused them into a coalition that has frequently proven unstoppable in Israeli politics.

Netanyahu is also a child of America, where he spent many years as a young man, and where he learned the techniques of modern political campaigns as well as the necessity of controlling the media cycle. The product of the affluent East Coast Jewish community and the Reagan era, Netanyahu's politics and worldview were formed as much by American Cold War conservatism as by his family's hardline right-wing Zionism.

As Pfeffer demonstrates in this penetrating biography, Netanyahu's influence will endure even if his career soon comes to an end. The Israel he has helped make is a hybrid of ancient phobia and high-tech hope, tribalism and globalism -- just like the man himself.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465097838
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 691,314
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Anshel Pfeffer has covered Israeli politics and global affairs for two decades. He is a senior correspondent and columnist for Haaretz and the Israel correspondent for the Economist. He lives in Jerusalem.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Netanyahu's Israel 1

Part 1 Frustrated Lovers of Zion: 1879-1948 7

1 An Orator of the Highest Grace 8

2 Propaganda, Propaganda, and Propaganda 15

3 On the Sidelines of History 31

4 The End of the Great Zionist Dream 38

Part 2 Outsiders in the New State: 1949-1976 47

5 Life Within Sharp Borders 48

6 A Terrible Dislocation 55

7 American Ben, Israeli Bibi 63

8 You Have to Kill Arabs 72

9 I've Reached My Target 90

10 Trying to Save the State 104

Part 3 Breaking the Elite: 1976-1996 115

11 Stop the World! 116

12 Why Aren't You in Uniform? 126

13 Prime Minister in Ten Years' Time 139

14 If He Had a Sense of Humor, He'd Be a 10 151

15 Prime Minister? Of Course Not 163

16 A Crime Unprecedented in the History of Democracy 179

17 A Political Failure? 191

18 Rabin Is "Not a Traitor" 202

19 Good for the Jews 215

Part 4 "Israel's Serial Bungler": 1996-2009 237

20 The Bedrock of Our Existence 238

21 Dragged to Wye 252

22 They. Are. Afraid. 267

23 A Concerned Citizen 280

24 My Own Media 295

25 Threats Are What Work 305

Part 5 Stuck on Top: 2009-2018 311

26 A New Pragmatic Bibi? 312

27 Your Father Wrote History. You Are Making History. 324

28 The Arab Voters Are Moving in Droves 343

29 A Bad Mistake of Historic Proportions 359

30 Nothing Will Happen, Because Nothing Happened 371

Epilogue: Netanyahu's Israel at Seventy 384

Acknowledgments 387

A Note on Sources 389

Notes 391

Index 407

Customer Reviews