Benjamin Netanyahu is the most powerful figure in Israel today and one of the most significant leaders on the world stage. He was born in Tel Aviv in 1949 and grew up in Jerusalem before moving to the United States as a teenager. He and his family lived in Philadelphia, where his father taught Jewish history.
In 1967, Netanyahu returned to Israel to fulfill the military obligation incumbent upon all Jewish youth. He volunteered for an elite unit and was wounded in an operation to release hostages from a hijacked airliner. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he led a commando team that made strikes deep into enemy territory. After six years in the military he was discharged with the rank of captain.