Binyamin Netanyahu (Benjamin in English) will become the longest serving Israeli Prime Minister if his current government lasts for a full term. “The Resistible Rise of Benjamin Netanyahu” boasts that it is the first original English language biography of the man.
It is written by Neil Lochery, the Catherine Lewis Professor of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Studies at University College London.
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The New York Times was not impressed by the book saying that Lochery takes readers on a, “slog through what he identifies as nine decisive moments in Netanyahu’s career and then rehashing, largely using newspaper clips, the Machiavellian minutiae. It’s altogether a boring and narrow lens — delving into how ministerial portfolios were handed out or who came second and third on party lists for Parliament. But even more unfortunate is the simplistic binary that Lochery applies to it all: Is Bibi, at heart, an ideologue or a pragmatist?”
“This is not a new question. Legions of commentators have used it to try to interpret Netanyahu’s actions. On one side is the imagined inner voice of Benzion Netanyahu, Bibi’s father, who died in 2012 at the age of 102. A severe, aggrieved man, a scholar of the Spanish Inquisition, Benzion was to the right of the right — no compromises, no room for two states, etc. — and would frequently say things like “The tendency toward conflict is in the essence of the Arab.” Netanyahu has dismissed talk of his father’s influence as mere “psychobabble, ” but one popular interpretation is that he has the same aggressive views though is advancing them through wilier tactics.”
But Neil Lochery explained his reasons for choosing this format in an interview with Fathom Journal. Lochery says that he is bored with how most biographies just go chronologically through a person’s life from birth to death.” I find the standard formula a little tired, ” he said. “I tried to come up with 10 decisive moments but could only find nine. I was hoping that the tenth and final decisive moment would be the March 2015 electoral defeat, but it didn’t happen that way!”
Apparently Mr. Lochery has never read a book by an author like David McCullough or Robert Caro. And the above statement betrays his dislike of Netanyahu.
Available in hardcover from Bloomsbury, “The Resistible Rise of Benjamin Netanyahu” is 400 pages long.