Famous Israeli Leaders

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Fondly called the land of milk and honey, Israel is one of the most popular countries in the Middle East that forwards people a rich blend of heritage, culture, modernity and religion. And much of that has been because of Israeli nationals and leaders who have crafted a unique space for themselves on the global platform. Humanitarian, ambitious and goal-oriented, Israeli leaders are all of them and much more. While Israel has been under the rule of powerful leaders since times immemorial, some of them created a niche for themselves and the country through their administrative skills and friendly policies. Yitzhak Rabin is one such Israeli leader. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, he became the first native-born prime minister of Israel in 1974. Rabin’s most acknowledgeable work as an Israeli leader was his peace negotiation with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. But the list does not end with Rabin alone. Other prominent Israeli leaders who left a lasting footprint on the country and the world map are Golda Meir, Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon, Chaim Weizmann, Menachim Begin, David Ben-Gurion and so on. a reading of this section will help you acquaint yourself with top Israeli leaders of all times.
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 1 
Solomon
(King of Israel)
Solomon
10
Birthdate: 0990 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0931 BC
Also known as Jedidiah, Israeli king Solomon, known for his wisdom, is a figure that appears in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, the Quran, and Hadiths. He ruled over the United Monarchy. His sins such as idolatry and marrying foreign women led to the disintegration of his kingdom.
 2 
Benjamin Netanyahu
(Prime Minister)
Benjamin Netanyahu
30
Birthdate: October 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

The current Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Israel. Before becoming a politician, Netanyahu had a prolific military career; he played important roles in the Yom Kippur War and the War of Attrition and participated in missions, such as Operation Isotope and Operation Gift.

 3 
David Ben-Gurion
(Former Prime Minister of Israel)
David Ben-Gurion
14
Birthdate: October 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Płonsk, Poland
Died: December 1, 1973
David Ben-Gurion was the founder of the State of Israel and also served as Israel’s first prime minister. He was the leader of the Jews in British Mandate Palestine and had also been the country’s defense minister and the chairman of the Provisional State Council of Israel.
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 4 
Moshe Dayan
(Israeli Military & Political Leader)
Moshe Dayan
18
Birthdate: May 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Degania Alef, Israel
Died: October 16, 1981

Born to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, military leader/politician Moshe Dayan, grew up to be an revered for his exploits against Israel’s Arab neighbors. His invasion of the Sinai peninsula is etched in his memoir, Diary of the Sinai Campaign. Following his death, his eye patch was sold on eBay for US$75,000.

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 5 
Golda Meir
(Former Prime Minister of Israel (1969 - 1974))
Golda Meir
12
Birthdate: May 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: December 8, 1978

Born in present-day Ukraine and brought up in the United States, the phenomenal rise of Golda Meir to become the prime minister of Israel was driven by her sheer leadership qualities. She steered her country amid hostilities from its neighbourhood during her eventful term as premier which also saw the Yom Kippur War. She is remembered as a strong-willed woman.

 6 
Yitzhak Rabin
(5th Prime Minister of Israel)
Yitzhak Rabin
7
Birthdate: March 1, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
Died: November 4, 1995

Israeli politician, statesman, and general, Yitzhak Rabin, served two stints as the prime minister of Israel. As a young man, he joined the military and served for nearly three decades. He had an extensive political career as well and played a key role in embracing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He was assassinated in November 1995.

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 7 
Shimon Peres
(Former President of Israel)
Shimon Peres
9
Birthdate: August 2, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wiszniew, Poland
Died: September 28, 2016
Shimon Peres had been both the president and prime minister of Israel (twice). He was also part of five political parties in his 70-year career and had held important cabinet posts such as the minister of finance. He won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.
 8 
Jonah
(Former prophet in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, from Gath-hepher of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BCE)
Jonah
4
Birthplace: Nineveh, Iraq

The Book of Jonah of the Old Testament talks about Jonah, the prophet. Jonah apparently set sail to Tarshish instead of listening to God and traveling to Nineveh to warn its citizens of God’s wrath due to its wickedness. However, shipwrecked, he eventually ends up warning Nineveh of the impending danger.

 9 
Menachem Begin
(Former Prime Minister of Israel)
Menachem Begin
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brest
Died: March 9, 1992

Menachem Begin was an Israeli politician who served as the sixth Prime Minister of Israel. In this position, he signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, for which he and Egyptian politician Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Prize for Peace. He implemented several reforms to improve the socio-economic condition of Israeli citizens and improve the general quality of life.

 10 
Gideon
(Military Leader of The Israelites Who Won an Important Battle Against The Midianites)
Gideon
4
Birthplace: Unknown

Gideon was a military leader, prophet, and judge whose victory over the Midianites are described in the Hebrew Bible. Like the 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, Gideon's army of 300 valiant men is well-known for achieving a decisive victory over the Midianites despite a vast numerical disadvantage. 

 11 
Reuven Rivlin
(10th President of Israel)
Reuven Rivlin
6
Birthdate: September 9, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, a qualified lawyer, has been associated with organizations such as the Betar Jerusalem Sports Association. A supporter of the one-state solution to end the Israel–Palestine issue, he has previously made headlines for cancelling an Amir Benayoun show after the singer sang an anti-Arab track.

 12 
Deborah
(Prophetess)
Deborah
5
Birthdate: 1107 AD
Birthplace: Israel
Died: 1067 AD

Deborah was an Israeli prophetess and a judge of Israel who made her judgments underneath a date palm tree between Bethel in the Tribe of Ephraim and Ramah in Benjamin. According to the Bible, Deborah was the only female judge in pre-monarchic Israel.

 13 
Yonatan Netanyahu
('Israel Defense Forces' Officer Best Remembered for Commanding 'Operation Entebbe')
Yonatan Netanyahu
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 4, 1976

Yonatan Netanyahu was an Israel Defense Forces officer best remembered for commanding Sayeret Matkal, an elite commando unit, during Operation Entebbe. The operation, which was a planned mission to rescue hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, was successful. However, Yonatan Netanyahu was killed in action. His life and career inspired the 2012 film Follow Me.

 14 
Ariel Sharon
(Prime Minister of Israel)
Ariel Sharon
10
Birthdate: February 26, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: British Mandate of Palestine
Died: January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon was the Israeli prime minister from 2001 to 2006. As a commander of the Israeli Army, he had participated in the Palestine War of 1948 and the 1967 Six-Day War. He was removed as the defense minister after he led the massacre of Palestinians in the Lebanon War.

 15 
Naftali Bennett
(13th Prime Minister of Israel)
Naftali Bennett
5
Birthdate: March 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel
 16 
Jeroboam
(King)
Jeroboam
3
Birthplace: United Kingdom of Israel
Died: 0910 BC

Jeroboam, son of Nebat, is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as someone who fought against Rehoboam, joining hands with the Israelite tribes. King Solomon had initially made him the superintendent of his tribesmen engaged in building fortresses. The Bible also mentions Jeroboam's constant conflict with Judah.

 17 
Yair Lapid
(Journalist, Writer, Politician, Actor, Television presenter)
Yair Lapid
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Yair Lapid is an Israeli politician who has been serving as the prime minister of Israel since June 2021. He is also the current Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel. He is credited with founding the centrist Yesh Atid party. A former journalist, Lapid was also known for his skills as a writer before entering politics in 2012.

 18 
Ehud Barak
(10th Prime Minister of Israel)
Ehud Barak
4
Birthdate: February 12, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mishmar HaSharon kibbutz, Israel

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak has also served as a minister of defense and foreign affairs. A talented pianist, he boasts of a degree from Stanford. Part of the Israeli Defense Forces since his younger days, he is one of the most decorated soldiers in the history of Israel.

 19 
Avigdor Lieberman
(politician)
Avigdor Lieberman
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chișinău, Moldova
 20 
Benny Gantz
(Alternate Prime Minister of Israel)
Benny Gantz
5
Birthdate: June 9, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kfar Ahim, Israel

Born to Holocaust survivors, Benny Gantz later soared through the ranks of the Israeli military, gaining the nickname The Prince. He founded Israel Resilience, which later merged into the Blue and White alliance. As the IDF’s chief of staff, he presided over the operations Pillar of Defence and Protective Edge.

 21 
Ehud Olmert
(Politician, Lawyer)
Ehud Olmert
3
Birthdate: September 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Binyamina
Ehud Olmert had a decade-long stint as the mayor of Jerusalem, before he became the prime minister of Israel. A qualified lawyer, he has also served the Israel Defense Forces. He supported the two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He eventually got a 6-year sentence for a bribing scandal.
 22 
Gilad Shalit
(Sports columnist, Soldier, Journalist, Investment Advisor)
Gilad Shalit
5
Birthdate: August 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nahariya

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was held by Palestinian militants from 2006 to 2011 and thus became significant in the Israeli political scene. He was eventually released as part of a prisoner-exchange deal, mediated by Germany ad Egypt, which required the release of over 1,000 Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners.

Herod Archelaus
3
Birthdate: 0023 BC
Died: 0018 AD
 24 
Yitzhak Shamir
(Prime Minister of Israel (1983 - 1984, 1986 - 1992))
Yitzhak Shamir
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ružany, Belarus
Died: June 30, 2012
Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir previously led the Zionist group Lehi. He lost his parents and sisters to the Holocaust and later changed his last name from "Yezernitsky" to "Shamir," to match the surname on his forged ID card. He had also joined the Mossad later.
 25 
Ish-bosheth
3
Birthdate: 1052 BC
Died: 1010 BC

Ish-bosheth reigned as the King of Israel from 1012 until his death in 1010 BCE. The son of King Saul, Ish-bosheth succeeded his father to become the second king of the Kingdom of Israel. His reign lasted only two years as Ish-bosheth was killed by two of his own army captains, Baanah and Rechab.

 26 
Chaim Herzog
(6th President of Israel)
Chaim Herzog
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland
Died: April 17, 1997
Chaim Herzog was an Irish-born Israeli politician, author, and lawyer. He is best remembered for his service as the sixth President of Israel from 5 May 1983 to 13 May 1993. Chaim Herzog was part of the Israel Defence Forces, where he achieved the rank of major-general, and played an important role during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
 27 
Jehoiakim
(king)
Jehoiakim
3
Birthdate: 0634 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: 0598 BC

Jehoiakim reigned as the King of Judah from 609 to 598 BC. He ruled the kingdom as a vassal of the Egyptians. After the Egyptians' defeat at the battle of Carchemish, Jehoiakim changed allegiances and supported the Babylonians in order to avoid the destruction of Jerusalem.

 28 
Natan Sharansky
(Politician, Writer, Mathematician, Human rights activist)
Natan Sharansky
3
Birthdate: January 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Donetsk

A well-known human rights activist, Natan Sharansky not just campaigned for the rights of the Jews and spent 9 years in a prison in Siberia, but was also a chess prodigy, who was a champion at age 14. He has also penned books and won multiple awards.

 29 
Abba Eban
(Politician and Diplomat)
Abba Eban
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cape Town
Died: November 17, 2002

Abba Eban was an Israeli politician and diplomat who took up many ministerial roles during his career. He served as Israel's education minister, foreign affairs minister, and deputy prime minister. He also served as an ambassador to the United Nations and to the United States. In 2001, he was honored with the prestigious Israel Prize for lifetime achievement.

 30 
Ezer Weizman
(Politician, Officer, Fighter pilot, Aviator)
Ezer Weizman
3
Birthdate: June 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tel Aviv
Died: April 24, 2005
 31 
Jeconiah
(King)
Jeconiah
3
Birthdate: 0615 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

Jeconiah reigned as the 19th King of Judah from 598 to 597 BCE. Jeconiah's reign of three months and ten days came to an end when Nebuchadnezzar II's army captured Jerusalem. Subsequently, Jeconiah and 3000 Jews were exiled to Babylon. This is seen as a significant event in the history of Israel as well as Babylon.

 32 
Levi Eshkol
(Politician)
Levi Eshkol
3
Birthdate: October 25, 1895
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orativ
Died: February 26, 1969
 33 
Tzipi Livni
(Politician, Lawyer, Diplomat, Manager)
Tzipi Livni
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tel Aviv
 34 
Yigal Allon
(Politician, Military personnel)
Yigal Allon
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kfar Tavor
Died: February 29, 1980
 35 
Moshe Sharett
(2nd Prime Minister of Israel)
Moshe Sharett
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1894
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kherson, Ukraine
Died: July 7, 1965
 36 
Moshe Katsav
(President , Politician )
Moshe Katsav
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yazd

Moshe Katsav is an Israeli ex-politician who became the second Mizrahi Jew to serve as the President of Israel from 1 August 2000 until his resignation on 1 July 2007. Katsav resigned after allegations of sexual harassment from his female subordinates. In 2011, Moshe Katsav was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment, of which he served five, at Maasiyahu Prison.

 37 
George Habash
(Founder of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine)
George Habash
3
Birthdate: August 2, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lod
Died: January 26, 2008
George Habash, also known as al-Hakim, was a Palestinian leader who established the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. After fleeing Palestine following the formation of the State of Israel, he studied medicine in Beirut. He battled with cancer in his final days and died at age 81.
 38 
Isser Harel
(spy, politician, writer)
Isser Harel
3
Birthdate: 1912 AD
Birthplace: Vitebsk
Died: February 18, 2003
 39 
Jehoram
(King of Judah)
Jehoram
2
Birthdate: 0881 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: 0842 BC

Jehoram of Judah reigned as the King of Judah from 849 BCE until his death in 842 BCE. He is generally depicted as a cruel man who killed his six brothers in order to secure his position as the King of Judah. He was succeeded by his son Ahaziah. 

 40 
Tzipi Hotovely
(Ambassador of Israel to the United Kingdom Since 2020)
Tzipi Hotovely
2
Birthdate: December 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rehovot, Israel
 41 
Amaziah of Judah
2
Birthdate: 0802 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: 0776 BC

Amaziah of Judah was the King of Judah who reigned for 29 years; 24 years of his reign had his son Uzziah as co-regent. Amaziah of Judah is usually depicted as a righteous king who adhered strictly to the Law of Moses. His legacy revolves around his righteousness and his decision not to kill the children of his father's murderers.

 42 
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi
(2nd President of Israel (1952 - 1963) )
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1884
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Poltava, Ukraine
Died: April 23, 1963

Yitzhak Ben-Zvi was a historian and Labor Zionist leader who served as the president of Israel from 1952 to 1963. His father was one of the organizers of the first Zionist Congress in 1897. Ben-Zvi studied at Kiev University for one year before dropping out to co-found the Russian Poale Zion movement. He was awarded the Bialik Prize. 

 43 
Miri Regev
(Politician, Spokesperson, Officer)
Miri Regev
2
Birthdate: May 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kiryat Gat
 44 
Nir Barkat
(Politician, Entrepreneur, Businessperson)
Nir Barkat
2
Birthdate: October 19, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jerusalem
 45 
Meir Amit
(Politician)
Meir Amit
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tiberias, Israel
Died: July 17, 2009
 46 
Aryeh Deri
(Politician)
Aryeh Deri
2
Birthdate: February 17, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Meknes
 47 
Yitzhak Navon
(5th President of Israel)
Yitzhak Navon
2
Birthdate: April 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: November 6, 2015
 48 
Ephraim Katzir
(4th President of Israel)
Ephraim Katzir
2
Birthdate: May 16, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: May 30, 2009

Ephraim Katzir was an Israeli politician and biophysicist. He is best remembered for his service as the President of Israel from 24 May 1973 to 29 May 1978. Ephraim Katzir, who served as the Israel Defense Forces' Chief Scientist from 1966 to 1968, made important contributions in the scientific field as well. He was the recipient of several prestigious awards.

 49 
Danny Danon
(Politician)
Danny Danon
2
Birthdate: May 8, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ramat Gan
 50 
Dan Shomron
(Israeli Military Commander Best Remembered For Planning and Commanding 'Operation Entebbe')
Dan Shomron
2
Birthdate: August 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ashdot Ya'akov
Died: February 26, 2008

Dan Shomron was a Israeli military commander who served as the Israel Defense Forces' Chief of Staff from 1987 to 1991. He is best remembered for planning and commanding Operation Entebbe, a hostage-rescue operation, in 1976. The operation was dramatized in a couple of films, including the 1977 film Raid on Entebbe, where Dan Shomron was played by Charles Bronson.