Naftali bennett

Is a return to power in Netanyahu’s grasp?

Jerusalem ‘Netanyahu’s coming back soon, and he’ll be back with a vengeance!’ Simcha Rothman’s eyes flashed as he made his bold prediction. The normally mild-mannered lawyer, an ultra-nationalist Knesset member, was convinced. ‘He’s coming back and it’s all the left-wing’s fault for demonising him. If it wasn’t for them, the right-wing would have found a different leader by now. But the left made him into an icon and much more dangerous.’ Will Rothman be vindicated soon? It’s been a year since Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, was forced into opposition by an eclectic coalition of parties united only by their determination to keep him out office. At 72,

Can Naftali Bennett’s anti-Bibi coalition survive?

Sunday saw a watershed moment in Israeli politics: Bibi Netanyahu was removed from power after 12 years, and his government replaced by an eclectic coalition headed by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, both of whom will serve as Prime Minister under a rotation agreement, starting with Bennett. It may be that one of Bibi’s greatest achievements was bringing together politicians with little in common but the belief that it was time for Bibi to go. Anyone watching the vote to approve the new government would have been on the edge of their seat: the new government was approved by a single vote (passed 60 to 59). The vote was preceded

Naftali Bennett, the millionaire poised to be Israel’s next prime minister

Jerusalem In April 2019, Naftali Bennett received an unpleasant surprise. As the votes were counted in Israel’s general election, it became clear that his New Right party had not passed the 3.25 per cent electoral threshold needed to stay in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Bennett had lost his seat, his new party had failed and his political career looked like it was over. Two years, three more elections and a global pandemic later, Bennett is on the verge of ending Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule. Barring a spectacular reversal, he is about to become Israel’s prime minister. He has found himself in the right place at the right time, heading (though

King Bibi’s pandemic problem

‘They are S-C-A-R-E-D’. So said Binyamin Netanyahu in a famous 1999 election campaign speech, referring to the media. Now he is the one who is scared. The political mastermind who has been Prime Minister for the past eleven years stands to lose his crown. Israel’s political crisis of 2019-2020 saw three general elections without producing a clear winner. Eventually, asserting a need for national unity to combat the pandemic, Bibi masterfully managed to form a coalition under his leadership while dividing the main opposition party, Blue and White. Under the rotation agreement, Bibi is to step down after two years and be replaced by Blue and White leader, Benny Gantz.