Analysis: With new budget format, ‘King Bibi’ likely to reign longer than Ben-Gurion

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gained the nickname “King Bibi” in 2012, after he appeared on the cover of Time magazine with that headline on an article that said the premier had consolidated his political power with no successor in sight.

While Netanyahu’s royal status has had its ups and downs in the four years since, Sunday marked a high point for the prime minister; following his agreement with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on a two-year budget for 2017-2018, “King Bibi” is poised to reign as elected prime minister until 2019 – and longer than Israel’s first premier, David Ben-Gurion.

Netanyahu is currently the second-longest serving prime minister of Israel after Ben-Gurion, who served 4,575 days, or about 12-and-a-half-years, and also was an unelected prime minister from May 1948 until February 1949 when the first Knesset was sworn in.

For Netanyahu to surpass Ben-Gurion, he must remain prime minister until September 23, 2018, according to Israel Democracy Institute Researcher Dr. Ofer Kenig, and the two-year budget means Netanyahu practically has the milestone in the bag. Continue reading

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