Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is Israel's richest politician, and is significantly wealthier than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Forbes Israel has reported.
According to the financial publication, which released its list of Israel's 10 wealthiest politicians for 2013 on Sunday, Barkat is worth NIS 450 million – a whopping NIS 230 million more than the second politician on the list, Knesset Member Erel Margalit.
Barkat's wealth stems in large part from an investment in Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. In 1993, Barkat and his brother, Eli Barkat, bought 50 percent of the then-fledgling firm's shares for NIS 400,000. Currently, Check Point is a Nasdaq-traded company with a market cap of NIS 10 billion.
As previously mentioned, MK Margalit is second on the list, with an estimated worth of NIS 220 million, credited to several stock issues and business exits that span two decades.
Third, fourth and fifth on the list are Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom, who is worth NIS 150 million, Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, NIS 65 million, and MK Meir Sheetrit, NIS 57 million.
Netanyahu is ranked sixth, with a worth of NIS 41 million. The prime minister made most of his wealth from speeches he delivered in the years 1999-2002, after losing the prime ministerial election to Ehud Barak. Netanyahu reportedly charged NIS 50,000 per speech at the time.
Trailing behind the prime minister is Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who is worth NIS 25 million, followed by Finance Minister Lapid, who is worth NIS 22 million, according to Forbes. Lapid made his money during his years as a columnist at Yedioth Ahronoth and a news anchor on Channel 2. He has also authored 11 books.