Finally some good news for Bibi! Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made Time Magazine's 2011 list of the top 100 most influential people in the world, published by Time.com yesterday.
First on the list is Wael Ghonim, the senior Google executive in Egypt who was arrested during demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak and became one of the symbols of the revolution, drawing thousands to Tahrir Square. Time said the 30-year-old Ghonim "embodies the youth who constitute the majority of Egyptian society."
Richard Haass, who wrote the entry on Netanyahu, said: "Nobody calls Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin. Now in his second stint as Israel's Prime Minister, he is Bibi; as with Bono, a single name suffices."
Haass also described the challenges he says Netanyahu faces. "Israel is an economic success; its citizens feel relatively safe behind a security wall. But it is increasingly isolated. Most of the world views Israel as the principal obstacle to Middle East peace."
Haass notes that Netanyahu is "on record supporting a demilitarized Palestinian state. But few details have been filled in."
Other figures on the list include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Julian Assange, the man behind WikiLeaks.
In a related article, "The Democratization of Influence," Time's Richard Stengel wrote: "We like to think revolutions rise from below, but through most of human history, it's the elites who have caused and led revolutions. Now, because of social media, anyone can communicate with everyone. We're seeing that in the Middle East, Africa and China. The democratization of information may actually lead to real democracy." Tween idol Justin Bieber is on the eclectic list, as is Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords - who survived an assassination attempt earlier this year, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Traditional influential leaders - the world's most powerful heads of state - are also on the list, including U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
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