Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is now Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, surpassing the record set by the country’s founding father David Ben-Gurion.
On Saturday July 20, 2019, the total number of days Netanyahu has been prime minister became 4,876 days — after serving from June 18, 1996, to July 6, 1999, and again since March 31, 2009, according to the Times of Israel.
Israel’s founding father, Ben-Gurion was a leader of the Jewish state for a total number of 4,875 days — some 13½ years — from May 14, 1948, to Jan. 26, 1954, and again from Nov. 3, 1955, to June 26, 1963.
But despite the long years, the conservative leader has faced a series of legal and political challenges.
Netanyahu who secured a fifth term earlier this year, is currently facing a series of possible corruption charges and calls for him to resign, BBC reported.
But he has since denied any wrongdoing, alleging that the case is politically motivated.
Netanyahu, 69, won his first election in 1996 at the age of 46, becoming the youngest-ever prime minister of Israel. He is also made history as the first leader born after the creation of the state in 1948.
While Benjamin Netanyahu – colloquially known as Bibi – remains popular with his party base, he appears a controversial figure in Israel, where critics see him as venal and even anti-democratic, according to BBC.
On September 17, Netanyahu will face a very difficult challenge from political opponents who are determined to take power during September elections. Among his political opponents are former prime minister, Ehud Barak; and a former military chief-of-staff.
“Who’s counting?” Bibi said flippantly, according to Reuters. He made the statement when he was asked about the milestone during a conference hosted by the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom newspaper and attended by US envoys.
“We’ve proven that Israel can be turned from a small country that is situated in the corner of the Middle East into a major power in the world,” he told the paper.