Skip to main content

Netanyahu compares himself to Israel’s founding father

The text written this week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comparing himself to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, has no credibility whatsoever.
Read in 

In March 2015, at the start of Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth term as prime minister, people around him began comparing him to David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister who is considered the greatest Israeli leader of modern times. At first, this comparison sounded like little more than an anecdote about how Netanyahu might eventually be in office as prime minister for a longer consecutive period than the country’s founding father. Upon his return to office — after Moshe Sharett's two-year term as prime minister in 1954-55 — Ben-Gurion held the position of prime minister for 2,790 consecutive days. Netanyahu was approaching this record, and surpassed it in November 2016.

Then, just a few days ago, the very specific comparison evolved into a dense and detailed text, written by Netanyahu himself, in which he uses Ben-Gurion to highlight his own (alleged) greatness. He wrote the text — a letter to Israel’s founding father — to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s independence. It was published by Makor Rishon newspaper as part of a project called “Letters to the Founders’ Generation,” with Netanyahu reposting it on various social networks. To be fair, the project began as a nice marketing gimmick by the flagship newspaper of the right. What Netanyahu did was turn it into a cynical propaganda tool to glorify himself as Israel’s greatest leader.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.