Written by Emily Jane Fox, CNN
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rise from bus conductor to being a leader of the West Bank settler movement is well documented. But here are five other Israeli leaders worth paying attention to:
Abraham D. Mossadegh
Born in 1871 in Tehran to British Jewish parents, Mossadegh rose to prominence in the 1930s as a member of Mossadegh’s National Iranian Democratic Party. From 1937 to 1951, he was prime minister of Iran and is famous for nationalizing the oil industry, splitting up the British oil company and leading his country to nationalize the petroleum. In 1951, Mossadegh was overthrown by the House of Saud in a coup, and his government was exiled in 1951. Despite repeated proclamations that he was still the prime minister, Mossadegh was executed in 1951.
Alan Dershowitz on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°” in September. Credit: © Charles Platiau/Reuters
Born in 1934, Dershowitz became the first Jew to practice law in Israel when he moved there in 1956 and served as the country’s first attorney general. He has represented controversial figures from notorious right-wing politician Ariel Sharon, who is charged with crimes against humanity, to U.S. presidential adviser Roger Stone, who was also indicted for election fraud.
The last prime minister to resign after being indicted, Shamir became leader of the Likud party in 1971 and the prime minister in 1983. In 1987, Shamir led his party to victory in the elections and formed the right-wing government. Shamir led a campaign to build the West Bank settlement of Ariel, which at the time was the only approved settlement in the West Bank.
A motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be introduced as early as Wednesday. Credit: Histadrut
Born in 1947, Herzog was the youngest of four children and, according to his biography on the Israeli government’s website, was a bus conductor before entering the Labor Party in 1973. After his appointment as attorney general, Herzog became the leader of the Labor Party and ultimately became prime minister from 1992 to 1996. He later served as chairman of the Likud Party.
Known as “the bulldozer,” former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2009. Credit: Max Nash/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Born in 1953 in Israel, Barak joined the Mossad shortly after he graduated university. After several jobs in intelligence, he became the first Israeli head of the Mossad in 1981 and served as prime minister in 1999 and 2001.