Naftali Bennett was born to American immigrants in Israel. Prior to his entry in politics, he was a tech entrepreneur and also served in an elite military commando unit.
If a coalition is ratified by Israeli parliament within the coming week, he will also be the man who will replace Benjamin Netanyahu as PM.
Naftali Bennett entered Israeli politics in 2012 as the head of a religious nationalist part, the Yamina Party, a predominantly religious faction that opposes Palestinian statehood. He went on to be chief of staff for Netanyahu himself from 2006 to 2008, when Mr. Netanyahu led the opposition.
He has held several other positions including head of the Jewish settlers’ council, religious affairs minister, education minister and had a short stint as defense minister.
Mr. Bennett’s agreed to ally in government with partners to make it possible for him to take the top job. All things falling in plac, he is to serve the first two years in a power-sharing deal with opposition leader Yair Lapid, who will take over in 2023 according to the terms of the coalition.
Israel has had four elections since April 2019, but this coalition may just see Mr. Netanyahu being replaced. Earlier, the Yamina Party had won only seven seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament, but because the legislature consists of 13 parties and is highly fragmented, Bennett has seen himself rise to the role of kingmaker and pave the way for his prime ministerial ambitions.
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