Netanyahu Ranked as One of World's 25 Most Powerful People by Forbes

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin. October 26, 2015.Credit: AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the 25 most powerful people on earth, according to Forbes' magazine's annual ranking of the "global elite whose actions move the planet."

Netanyahu is ranked twenty-first on Forbes' list of The World's Most Powerful People 2015, defined as the "heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs [who] truly run the world."

Topping the list is Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United States President Barack Obama.

Also in the top 10 are Pope Francis, Chinese President Xi Jinping, entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates and Janet Yellen, Chairperson of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Bringing up the rear, in place 73, is World Health Organization Director-General Margeret Chan, who is just one place behind U.S. property mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The reason for there being 73 people on the list, Forbes explains, is because they allocated one slot for every 100 million people on the planet.

The criteria used for choosing and ranking the candidates were: Whether the candidate has power over lots of people, whether the candidate controls significant financial resources, whether the candidate is powerful in multiple spheres and whether the candidate actively uses his or her power.

2015 is the third year running in which Putin has headed the list. Explaining their choice, Forbes' editors wrote: "Putin continues to prove he’s one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants – and get away with it."

Obama, on the other hand, dropped one place (to third slot) from last year because "it’s clear his influence is shrinking, and it’s a bigger struggle than ever to get things done."

Merkel, the highest-ranked woman on the list, "is the backbone of the 28-member European Union, and her decisive actions dealing with the Syrian refugee problem and the Greek credit crisis helped bump her up the list," Forbes wrote.

Explaining its choice of Netanyahu, Forbes wrote: "[He] led the biggest military engagement of his three terms in office this year during a 50-day war against Hamas in Gaza that resulted in over 2,000 deaths, the majority of them Palestinian.

"Netanyahu faced sharp international criticism for the conflict before a cease-fire was established at the end of August. He barked back before the UN this September: 'Many of the countries represented here... evidently don't understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.'"

"His tiny Middle East country of eight million is dubbed 'startup nation,' and boasts the highest number of startups per capita in the world."

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