TIME Crowns Netanyahu as the 'King of Israel'

Managing Editor Rick Stengel holds an exclusive interview with the Israeli PM after he created a 94-member coalition with the centrist Kadima party; Netanyahu tells TIME the Palestinians 'will never have a better partner than me.'

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TIME magazine has crowned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the 'king of Israel' in its cover story this week, which profiles Netanyahu and marks his recent feat - brokering a 94-member coalition with the rival Kadima party.

In the article, Managing Editor Rick Stengel outlines Netanyahu's recent achievements and explains why he is worthy of the title of 'King of Israel.'

"Netanyahu is poised to become the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister since David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of Israel. He has no national rival," Stengel writes. "His approval rating, roughly 50%, is at an all-time high. At a moment when incumbents around the world are being shunted aside, he is triumphant. With his bullet-proof majority, he has a chance to turn himself into the historic figure he has always yearned to be. He has become, as some commentators have dubbed him, the King of Israel."

Stengel interviewed Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem, and noted that Netanyahu "would like to be a hero, but he will not be one at the expense of Israel's security.

"He wants to be a defining figure in Israeli history and a significant player on the world stage, but he will not risk what he sees as Israel's safety to be one," Stengel writes. "His ambition and now his security as Prime Minister, though, may let him take that risk. Of the Palestinians, he says, 'If they figure it out, they will never have a better partner than me. I can make it happen and make it stick.'"

Stengel also inquired about Netanyahu's much talked about relationship with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, to which the prime minister replied that he has only seen Romney a handful of times over the years and only once this year, when they spoke for 10 minutes, mainly about Iran.

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