Business Insider lists Bibi Netanyahu seventh among “The 19 Smartest People The World Has Ever Seen.”
Citing what appears to be a reader’s comment to a Caroline Glick article (and what could be any more definitive than a reader’s comment on a Web site?), B.I. says the Israeli p.m. “is alleged to have an IQ of 180.”
Topping the list, by the way, are Microsoft’s Paul Allen, physicist Stephen W. Hawking, and chess grandmaster Robert Byrne.
It was my mother of blessed memory who would say to me, “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” (I got my sense of self-esteem from her.) Insert your own version about Bibi here.
UPDATE: I started poking around to find out if there is an original source for the claim that Bibi has an IQ of 180, but most of the links take you to the same “alleged to have” references as B.I. Two intriguing tidbits, however: Citations referring to Ehud Barak as the Israeli prime minister with the 180 IQ!
The first is from the May 30, 1999 issue of Newsweek, which refers to Barak as “the tough little Sabra with the chest full of medals and the 180 IQ.”
The second is from a 2003 edition of something called “Newsmakers,” from Gale Research. It writes of Barak, “his lack of interest in education seemed to stem from boredom, since his IQ was measured at an impressive 180.”
Barak’s alleged smarts have been a theme of his career. A 1999 profile of Barak from the Jerusalem Post Service describes Barak’s skill as a classical pianist, and reports that he has ”a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a master’s degree in economic engineering systems from Stanford University.” His favorite hobby is “taking apart watches and putting them back together.”
Of course, Bibi has architecture and business management degrees from MIT.
But unless Israel has had the good fortune to be governed by two prime ministers with an IQ of 180, there seems to be some confusion out there that I don’t have the IQ to unravel.