Naftali Bennett holds the helm of Israeli Politics, what's next?
What does the leadership change in Israel suggest? Here's the journey of the serving Prime Minister from millionaire tech entrepreneur to hardliner nationalist leader.
Naftali Bennett holds the helm!
Finally, after two years of four inconclusive elections, Bennett wins the mandate of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). Although the high-held political drama might have come to an end, the Government held by Bennet still appears to be on Ventilator. There is only the difference of ‘one vote’ between Netanyahu’s party ‘Likud’ and the ruling coalition led by Naftali Bennett.
The coalition headed by Bennet is a rainbow alliance of 8 parties, supported by all kinds of ideologies, from leftist to centrist and right-wingers. The improbable alliance came days after the 11 day Isreal- Hamas war, which sought attention globally, including that of the United Nations.
The razor-thin vote margin can destabilize the government anytime and Netanyahu may be on board soon. And, this might be the reason for Netanyahu’s optimism, even after he faced defeat. Well, for now, Bibi has been ousted from power in a seismic shift of Isreal’s turbulent politics.
Netanyahu, popularly known as ‘King Bibi’ by his supporters and ‘Crime Minister’ by the critics is on trial on fraud cases and has been Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister.
If the coalition lasts long, Bennett will discharge duties till Sept 2023, afterward, the position will be handed over to a Centrist, secular leader, Yair Lapid, as has been one of the pre-coalition terms.
As for now, since, Bennett is the boss, let us quickly understand his history and evolution as a Politician.
Bennet is 49 years of age, which means he has a generation gap with Netanyahu, aged 71. He was born to American parents in a port city called Haifa in Israel. He had been a successful, millionaire tech entrepreneur, before joining politics.
Bennett had been a senior former aid to Netanyahu between 2006 to 2008 and then divorced following his long-lasting rocky relationship with Bibi. He also held the responsibilities as the minister of economy and education and also served as Isreal’s special forces commando.
He has continuously emphasized liberalizing the economy, reducing red-tapism in business, etc., and favored reform in the religion-state relationship
As far as his political ideas are concerned, he is a right-wing Jewish nationalist and completely rejects the idea of the formation of Palestine. According to him, the formation of Palestine would be like suicide for Israel. He has been the staunch supporter of Jewish settlement in the occupied territory of the West Bank and has also served as the leader of the settlement movement. His party has also called for the annexation of the parts of the occupied regions of the West Bank. He is the leader of the Yamina Party.
He puts on Kippah ( a skullcap worn by orthodox Jewish men) which is the reflection of his extreme and orthodox religious views. Also, he is the first Prime Minister of Isreal to do so.
Well, regimes change, but the core of domestic and international politics remains the same unless stimulated by any big domestic or global event. Nevertheless, for politics enthusiasts, the functioning of this motley coalition of Isreal’s politics, is surely going to be interesting.