Call him prime minister but never Bibi

"I don't believe it shows respect to call the prime minister of Israel by his nickname," spokesman Shai Bazak told Israel Radio.

Israeli politicians on both sides of the political spectrum are called by nicknames from their youth, including Ariel "Arik" Sharon, Rafael "Raful" Eitan, Avraham "Beiga" Shochat and Rehavam "Gandhi" Ze'evi.

Netanyahu has said he got the nickname to clear up confusion between himself and an older cousin, Benjamin B.

"He was the big B.B. … I was the small B.B.," Netanyahu said.