Thinking Aloud: Naftali Bennett, Darling of the Israeli Right

Thinking Aloud: Naftali Bennett, Darling of the Israeli Right

Not What You Might Think

Sept. 2, 2014 by Darius 

According to a new poll released today, the leader of the right wing in Israel is not Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu but rather Naftali Bennett, whose Jewish Home Party is even further to the right than Netanyahu’s.  Who is Bennett, where did he come from, and what does his party stand for?

Bennett was born to American immigrant parents in Israel in 1972.  Like most Israelis, he served in the military, after which he founded a successful tech company, which he eventually sold for more than $100 million.  He was called up as a reservist in the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah and fought in Lebanon.  After the war, he entered politics, somewhat ironically as a staff member for Netanyahu, who was at the time the leader of the opposition in the Knesset.

Soon, though, Bennett found himself in political conflict with Netanyahu. …

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