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50 People Who Matter 2011 | 18. Binyamin Netanyahu

Zion man.

The Israeli prime minister's second term has been as marked by hardline policies and refusal to co-operate with the Palestinians as his first. The peace process has suffered further setbacks under his leadership, with illegal settlement-building on the West Bank still unchecked. There are signs that he may need to tone down his intransigence. His refusal to apologise to Turkey for the deaths last year aboard the Mavi Marmara was a gross error, as it turned Israel's only ally in the region against it. The 10 September attack on Israel's embassy in Cairo highlighted the state's vulnerability if Turkey and Egypt were to form a hostile alliance. Yet Netanyahu's power in the region's key conflict remains undimmed and there seems little hope of him giving ground any time soon.

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This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter