Time honoured: Israeli PM revels in his star status

Unsurprsingly, delighted aides to the Prime Minister distributed the article to Israeli journalists

Jerusalem

In a brilliant essay aptly called "Doing Time", the great radical American journalist Andrew Kopkind once described working as a 26-year-old in the magazine's Los Angeles bureau during the early Sixties. Such was the clout of the title, he noted, that a trivial enquiry to the press office of some great corporation would be taken so seriously that its CEO would immediately cross town to speak to the reporter in person.

Time may no longer be held in such high regard as it was then. But it evidently still exercises a unique pull for the powerful – including the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who this week granted the magazine's managing editor, Richard Stengel, unrivalled access and secured a highly flattering 4,200-word cover story in the process.

In a week that the annual BBC poll in 22 countries found that Israel was seen as exercising the third most negative influence on the world, after Iran and Pakistan, but tieing with North Korea, Time has no doubts about its Prime Minister's authority – or the influence he also wields in the US.

The man who this month dramatically expanded his coalition is, "poised to become the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister since David Ben Gurion... He has no national rival... 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."

Articles such as Mr Stengel's of course not only reflect but also help to generate the BBC poll finding that only in the US has Israel's popularity actually risen, with 50 per cent saying they view it positively. Mr Netanyahu, he writes, "would like to be a hero but he will not be one at the expense of Israel's security. 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'."

Mr Stengel accompanied the Israeli leader to a Moroccan Jewish celebration in the working-class town of Or Akiva, and then to a business magnate's lavish party in Caesarea, before interviewing him for two and half hours the following afternoon.

Unsurprisingly, delighted aides to Mr Netanyahu distributed the article to Israeli journalists. But in a waspish piece in the Israeli daily Haaretz, diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid wrote yesterday that, "no Israeli journalist has been given such access to the Prime Minister in the last three years and none is likely in the next three years, either".

Certainly, the Prime Minister's senior adviser Ron Dermer sets great store by fostering contact with sympathetic opinion informers in the US. But an official in Mr Netanyhau's office said yesterday that leading Israeli commentators "routinely" have access to the Prime Minister for background briefings.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Plumber

£22000 - £25900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company is expanding and th...

Recruitment Genius: Corporate Account Manager

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Corporate Account Manager is ...

Recruitment Genius: Chef de Partie

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This award winning conference venues provider...

Recruitment Genius: Admin Assistant

£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders