20 years ago today, on May 29, 1996, Benjamin Netanyahu was voted in for the first time as Prime Minister of Israel, beating out Shimon Peres in direct elections.
Netanyahu won 50.5% (1,501,023 votes) of the vote, while Peres received 49.5% (1,471,566 votes) of the vote.
Netanyahu was the youngest person ever to become prime minister of Israel.
Since then, he has become the 2nd longest serving prime minister after David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. If his current coalition survives, Netanyahu will become Israel’s longest serving prime minister.
He is also the only prime minister to have been elected 3 times in a row, and has been elected a total of 4 times, the same as Ben-Gurion.
Photos of Netanyahu in 1996, following his victory:
A young Netanyahu and a young Avigdor Libermnan in December 1996: