Netanyahu to make history as longest serving PM

Netanyahu will become the longest-serving PM in Israeli history on Saturday, July 20, beating Israel's first PM, David Ben Gurion.

Tags: Israel
Sara Rubenstein ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Kobi Richter/TPS

On Saturday, July 20, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will become the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history, beating Israel's first prime minister David Ben Gurion.

According to data compiled by Dr. Ofer Kenig of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), Ben Gurion served as prime minister for 4,872 days. Netanyahu will reach that number on Friday and surpass it on Saturday. Both prime ministers achieved their record through two non-consecutive periods of time, with Ben Gurion serving as prime minister from May 1948 until January 1954 and from November 1955 to June 1963. Netanyahu was prime minister from June 1996 until July 1999 and has served as the current prime minister since March 2009. He is the only prime minister in Israel to have been elected three times in a row

Netanyahu is also one of the longest-serving heads of the OECD countries, in third place after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German chancellor Angela Merkel, who is stepping down as chancellor in 2021

The prime minister who served the shortest term was Ehud Barak, who beat Netanyahu in 1999 by a wide margin but was defeated by Ariel Sharon amidst the second intifada after less than two years in office.

Netanyahu is also the first prime minister born after the establishment of the state of Israel and was the youngest prime minister in Israeli history when he was elected in 1996 at the age of 46.