A deeply reported biography of the controversial Israeli Prime Minister, showing that we cannot understand Israel today without first understanding the man who leads it
For many in Israel and elsewhere, Benjamin Netanyahu is anathema, an embarrassment, even a precursor to Donald Trump. But he continues to dominate Israeli public life. How can we explain his rise, his hold on Israeli politics, and his outsized role on the world’s stage?
In Bibi, journalist Anshel Pfeffer reveals the formative influence of Netanyahu’s grandfather and father, who bequeathed to him a brand of Zionism integrating Jewish nationalism and religious traditionalism. Pfeffer argues that we must understand Netanyahu as embodying the triumph of the underdogs in the Zionist enterprise over the secular liberals who founded the nation. As he demonstrates in this penetrating biography, Netanyahu’s Israel is a hybrid of ancient phobia and high-tech hope, tribalism and globalism–just like the man himself.