December 11, 2019

Netanyahu Surpasses Ben Gurion as Israel’s Longest-Serving Prime Minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem June 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

(JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

Netanyahu, 69, on Saturday surpassed the number of days as prime minister held by David Ben Gurion, the country’s first prime minister.

Ben Gurion served in the office for 4,875 days, from the establishment of the state in May 1948 until early 1954, and again from November 1955 to June 1963.

On Saturday, Netanyahu served 4,876 days from 1996 to 1999, and from March 2009 to the present. He faces a new election on Sept. 17 and possible indictment in three different corruption cases the following month.

His election in 1996 made him the country’s youngest-ever prime minister. Twelve Israelis have served as prime minister since the founding of the state.

He is the 16th longest-serving leader of a democratic country since World War II, according to statistics from the Israel Democracy Institute. Among those leaders are Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who as of July 20 served 5,972 days and counting; Germany’s Helmut Kohl at 5,870 days, and Canada’s Pierre Trudeau at 5,642 days.