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´King Bibi´ graces cover of TIME Magazine (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 05/18/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=270444 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu graced the cover of TIME Magazine that hit newsstands Thursday, a week after the magazine made headlines with a provocative cover of a woman breast feeding her three-year old son.

"King Bibi," read the headline on the cover featuring a black-and- white close-up photo of an intense, unsmiling Netanyahu staring straight into the camera. "He´s conquered Israel. But will Netanyahu now make peace Ė or war?"

The matter-of-fact, straightforward article, written by TIME´s managing editor Richard Stengel, marks the 37th occasion Israel has been on TIME´s cover in the magazine´s 89-year history.

This piece, which describes the Prime Minister´s world view, and how he looks at Iran and the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, will likely generate much less criticism among pro-Israel readers than the magazine´s two previous cover stories on Israel: The September 13, 2010, cover entitled "Why Israel doesn´t Care About Peace," and the January, 19, 2009 cover, "Why Israel can´t win."

Netanyahu, the magazine wrote when talking about the political "thunderstoke" that brought Kadima into the coalition, "is poised to become the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister since David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of Israel."

"At a moment when incumbents around the world are being shunted aside, he is triumphant," the piece read.

Now, according to the story, the world will find out if Netanyahu "is a statesman or a pol, a builder or a general, the Israeli leader who can finally make peace with the Palestinians or the one who launches a potentially disastrous unilateral attack on Iran."

While there will be those taking issues with the way Stengel sets up the choices, and others will dispute his narrative of the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, no one can argue with how he accurately describes Netanyahu´s physical surroundings.

Referring to the Prime Minister´s official residence in Jerusalem, Stengel wrote, "The White House this isnít. Itís an unmemorable modern building in a busy part of the city. Inside, one walks along paths that have not been swept, past unfinished construction and gardens that look untended. We sit in the courtyard outside his study, which has a naked concrete floor, some rickety chairs and an old couch. When Bibi signals that heís hot, a worker silently rolls out a creaky shoulder-height rotating fan that she places right behind his head. It is the opposite of formal."

Netanyahu discussed his relationship with the presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, disputing the impression left by a recent New York Times piece that described the two as having a "warm friendship little known to outsiders" that stretched back decades and was "nurtured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem."

"It was at Boston Consulting that he met Mitt Romney," Stengel wrote. ď´We did not know each other that well,´ Bibi says. ´He was the whiz kid. I was just in the back of the room.´ Bibi says he has seen Romney only a handful of times over the years and only once this year. They spoke for 10 minutes during his visit to Washington in March, mainly about Iran.

This was the second time Netanyahu had the weekly news magazine´s cover all to himself, the first time being on June 10, 1996, after he was elected prime minister for the first time. Then the headline was, "Can he make peace?"

Last month a small portrait of him appeared on TIME´s cover as part of a collage of the magazine´s 100 most influential people in the world. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/18/12)

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