Naftali Bennett, Israel New Prime Minister: The Knesset approved Naftali Bennett as Israel’s next Prime Minister late Sunday evening India time, ending Netanyahu’s 12-year reign of terror.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister, is on trial for fraud, and following the country’s fourth inconclusive election in two years in March this year, he fell short of gaining majority support.
The incoming Prime Minister is a former adviser to Netanyahu and is seen as Netanyahu’s right-hand man. If their unstable administration survives another two years, Yair Lapid, a 57-year-old moderate, would succeed Bennett as Prime Minister.
Bennett and Lapid form an exceptional eight-party coalition that includes parties from both the left and right, secular and religious, and is united primarily by their goal to depose Netanyahu.
Who is Israel’s New Prime Minister Naftali Bennett?
Bennett, a 49-year-old politician with American parentage, is a former technology entrepreneur who made millions before converting to rightwing politics and a religious-nationalist political perspective and becoming extensively active in it.
For his opinions, certain Israeli analysts and publications have called him a “ultra-nationalist.” “I’m more rightwing than Bibi (Netanyahu), but I don’t use hate or polarisation as a technique to promote myself politically,” Bennett, the leader of the Yamina party, told The Times of Israel in February.
Bennett has recently urged for the occupation of the West Bank to be annexed. Observers of his political career have remarked that this has been his general position since bursting onto the Israeli political scene in 2013.
Between 2006 and 2008, Bennett served as a top advisor to Netanyahu. He did, however, leave Netanyahu’s Likud party after his relationship with the former Prime Minister deteriorated.
Bennett joined the right-wing national religious Jewish Home party after entering politics and was elected to Parliament as its MP in 2013.
Where does Prime Minister Bennett stand in terms of political knowledge?
Prime Minister Bennett is noted for being a staunch supporter of the Jewish state and for insisting on Jewish historical and religious rights to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, which Israel has occupied near the Syrian border since 1967.
Bennett, who was once the chairman of the Yesha Council, a political organisation that supports Jewish settlers, has long advocated for the rights of Jewish residents in the West Bank. He has never supported Israeli claims to Gaza, though.
Bennett, on the other hand, has taken a strong position against Palestinian militants, endorsing the death sentence for them. Bennett accused Hamas of “murdering” people in Gaza who were killed in Israeli airstrikes in response to Hamas rocket firing from Gaza in May of this year.
PM Bennett, according to The Times of Israel, “is not in the business of boycotting political rivals,” but he is a “man of the national camp” — a “firm and proud right-winger who will oppose Palestinian statehood forever, under any and all circumstances; who wants to extend Israeli sovereignty to roughly 60% of the West Bank; and who believes Israel has already relinquished too much of its Biblical land.”