He trained as a combat soldier and served for five years in an elite special forces unit of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal.He took part in numerous cross-border assault raids during the 1967–70 War of Attrition, rising to become a team-leader in the unit. After completing his army service in 1972, Netanyahu returned to the United States in late 1972 to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).Netanyahu returned to politics in 2002 as Foreign Affairs Minister (2002–2003) and Finance Minister (2003–2005) in Ariel Sharon's governments, but he departed the government over disagreements regarding the Gaza disengagement plan.As Minister of Finance, Netanyahu engaged in a major reform of the Israeli economy, which was credited by commentators as having significantly improved Israel's subsequent economic performance.Benzion Netanyahu (1910–2012), the middle of three children.He discovered via a DNA test that he is of part Sephardi Jewish ancestry.At that time he changed his name to Benjamin Ben Nitai (Nitai, a reference to both Mount Nitai and to the eponymous Jewish sage Nittai of Arbela, was a pen name often used by his father for articles).Years later, in an interview with the media, Netanyahu clarified that he decided to do so to make it easier for Americans to pronounce his name.
Netanyahu also currently is a member of the Knesset and the Chairman of the Likud party.
At the Boston Consulting Group, he was a colleague of Mitt Romney, with whom he formed a lasting friendship.
Romney remembers that Netanyahu at the time was: "[A] strong personality with a distinct point of view", and says "[w]e can almost speak in shorthand...
He returned to Israel in October 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War in the Sayeret Matkal commando unit.
At MIT, Netanyahu studied a double-load, completing an SM (that would normally take four years) in only two and a half years, despite taking a break to fight in the Yom Kippur War, and while simultaneously completing a thesis in a graduate course at Harvard.