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Benjamin Netanyahu

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Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Netanyahu, the son of a history professor who taught at Cornell University, attended high school in the United States, studied political science at M.I.T. and Harvard, and then earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Masters Degree in Management Studies from M.I.T.

Before pursuing a higher education, he served for five years as a soldier in an elite military unit, achieving the rank of captain after serving in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He was one of the commandos who stormed the hijacked Sabena airplane, rescued the hostages, and later earned military honors for operational leadership.

Netanyahu first attracted worldwide attention in 1979 when he organized an international conference dedicated to the fight against terrorism, attended by world leaders like George Bush. In 1982, at the appeal of then-Ambassador Moshe Arens, he joined the Israeli Embassy in Washington, and as such, became a member of the first commission to discuss joint strategy between Israel and the United States. He then quickly gained international prominence, first serving as Israeli ambassador to the United Nations (1984-1988), then being elected to parliament as deputy foreign minister. During that time he played a major role in the Madrid Peace Conference, which admitted the first direct negotiations between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, and a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. From 1991 to 1992, during his term as deputy minister in the prime minister's office, he gained a reputation as a savvy spokesperson and a shrewd negotiator. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, his live broadcast on CNN commanded a worldwide audience, and sympathy for the Israeli cause. Through effective mediation at the 1992 Middle East peace conference in Madrid, he helped make significant strides towards an ultimate resolution. In 1996, three years after becoming a Likud party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu became the youngest Prime Minister in Israeli history. He transferred the Israeli economy towards free market principles and brought recognition to Israel as one of the most sought after high-tech markets in the world. At the same time he drastically reduced the deficit, cut inflation to a 35-year low and brought foreign investment to Israel in unprecedented levels. Mr. Netanyahu successfully reduced terrorism inside the country and in late 1998, he made an indelible mark, signing a historic interim peace agreement in Wye River, Maryland, with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Benjamin Netanyahu will be addressing the state of world affairs to include economic prosperity and political stability.

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