Israel’s wealthiest politician is Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. the mayor topped a list, published on Wednesday, that put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in fourth place and the leader of the opposition, MK Isaac Herzog, in eleventh place.
The list of the thirteen richest politicians was put together by Forbes Israel.
Barkat, 55, was estimated to be worth NIS 450 million ($117m), cash he began making after selling his start-up company BRM to Internet anti-virus giant Symantec. From there Barkat moved into investments, including with a large number of shares in Checkpoint.
Second place on the list was taken by MK Erel Margalit (Zionist Union) with NIS 220 m. ($57 m). The fifty-four year old set up Jerusalem Venture Partners in the nineties and scored success for the venture capital fund.
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs Silvan Shalom ranked third with NIS 150 m. ($39 m). According to the report, Shalom, 57, gained his fortune via his wife Judy Nir Moses, who is a part owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper, the largest in Israel.
Next in line was Netanyahu, whose fortune was put at NIS 42 milion ($10.9 m), apparently earned from work he did as a strategic adviser as well as public speaking. Netanyahu, 65, has spent a total of nearly a decade as prime minister of Israel, as part of a career in public service that has spanned 30 years.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett took fifth place with NIS 30 m. ($7.8m). Bennett got his first break when a company he set up after leaving university was sold for $5 m. to RSA. The firm specializes in secure encryption. After that the minister, 43, continued his business ventures to build his fortune before beginning a new career in politics.
Behind Bennett were Environment Minister Avi Gabi, who heads the ministry despite losing his Knesset seat in the last elections, and has an estimated worth of with NIS 25 million ($6.51 m). Then came Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid with NIS 22 million ($5.73 m), Social Welfare and Services Minister Haim Katz with NIS 30 million ($7.8 m), Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri with NIS 18 million ($4.6 m), and Construction Minister Yoav Galant with NIS 15 million ($3.9 m).
Leader of the opposition and the Zionist Union party Herzog has NIS 10 million ($2.6 m), the report said, and his co-party member MK Tzipi Livni has a similar amount.
Bottom of the list was MK Manuel Trajtenberg, who also has NIS 10 million, Forbes estimated.