JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has broken David Ben-Gurion’s record as the prime minister who served the longest consecutive term in Israel’s history.
As of Tuesday, Netanyahu had served 2,793 days — or seven years and 236 days — besting Ben-Gurion’s 2,790-day record, according to the Israel Democracy Institute. Ben-Gurion was Israel’s first prime minister.
Netanyahu’s record includes three terms in office after he was reelected in 2009, 2013 and 2015. He previously served as prime minister from 1996 to 1999.
Netanyahu would need to serve another 970 days to break Ben-Gurion’s record of total time in office. He could potentially achieve that record if early elections are not called. The next elections are scheduled for Nov. 5, 2019, and Netanyahu would have to hang on to his office until mid-July of 2019.
By comparison, according to the Israel Democracy Institute, Margaret Thatcher served as Britain’s prime minister for 4,226 days from 1979-1990; German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who came into office in 2005, has served for 4,018 days and counting; and U.S. President Barack Obama has served for 2,863 days, but is limited by term limits. Swedish prime minister Tage Erlander served 8,404 consecutive days while in office from 1946 to 1969.
Netanyahu ranks 62nd on the list of democratic leaders who have held office since 1945. If he remains prime minister until new elections in November 2019, he will jump to 21st place.