Israel’s political opposition has pulled together a government designed to end Benjamin Netanyahu’s cumulative 15 years of power. If the coalition is ratified by parliament within the coming weeks, he will be replaced as prime minister by Naftali Bennett, a 49-year-old technology millionaire and former cabinet minister whose politics is more than his own. correct. However, to get where he has gotten, Bennett agreed to cooperate with partners in government whose opposing views could moderate the policy.
1. What is Bennett known for?
Bennett heads the Yamina Party, a predominantly religious faction that opposes the Palestinian state and seeks to annex large parts of the West Bank, territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. In fact, it was only after Bennett made the idea a vote-getter that Netanyahu began pushing the merger. Bennett is also a fanatic towards Iran. The new government, however, is sometimes made up of a jumble of parties with conflicting ideologies that have apparently banded together to remove Netanyahu. To that end, it is expected to try to sidestep contentious issues such as the Palestinian state and instead focus on things like getting the economy back on track in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
2. How was Bennett, the head of a small party, brought into the prime minister’s seat?
Israel has had four inconclusive elections since April 2019. In the final ballot in March, Yamina won only seven seats in the 120-member parliament, but because the legislature is divided into 13 parties, that was enough to make Bennett the kingmaker. He would serve as prime minister for the first two years, as a condition to join the new coalition created by opposition leader Yair Lapid. Lapid was assigned that task after Netanyahu failed, and is to take office as prime minister in 2023 under his power-sharing agreement with Bennett.
3. What is the history of Bennett?
He is a native Israeli born to American immigrants. Bennett served in an elite military commando unit and as a tech entrepreneur, paid security company Cyota Inc. which was sold to RSA Security LLC for $145 million. He served as chief of staff for then-opposition leader Netanyahu from 2006 to 2008, and after breaking up with him, headed the council of Jewish settlers. Bennett entered politics in 2012 as head of a religious nationalist party and has served in cabinet in various capacities as Minister of Religious Affairs, Minister of Education and briefly Minister of Defense.
In the context of Israel, he is moderate on some religious issues such as advocating pluralistic worship and respecting gay rights.
4. Bennett in his own words
“The Palestinian Authority has become the largest terrorist organization in the world.”
Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers is “an ongoing disaster”.
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