Correspondent in Jerusalem
Naftali Bennett may in the next few days become the new Prime Minister of Israel. This will require that Parliament ratify the agreement reached in extremis by the eight parties that have come together to end the era of Benjamin Netanyahu. The vote of confidence could be delayed until the 14th and until then Netanyahu will do everything possible so that the fragile coalition fails in its attempt and there are deputies who break party discipline and vote against.
Bennett’s threat is in his own party, the small force far right Yamina (which in Hebrew means ‘to the right’) that has only seven of the 120 seats in the chamber, where both deputies and voters have shown their objection to an agreement that includes an Islamist party and that is considered a “treason.” The security forces have had to reinforce the protection of who could be Netanyahu’s replacement in the face of the level of threats received. His home in Ra’anana, north of Tel Aviv, where he lives with his wife and four children, is now armored and the scene of daily protests.
The son of immigrants from San Francisco, Bennett was born in Haifa 49 years ago and is a orthodox religious, who may be the first head of government in history to look kippah, who grew up in a secular family.
After spending seasons in United States and Canada, graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a successful entrepreneur in the technological world of ‘start-up’, where he founded the cybersecurity company Cyota which it sold in 2005 for 123 million euros. Former officer in the Army’s Special Forces Maglan unit, one of the elite units, made the leap into politics in 2006 in the ranks of the Likud
, then in opposition.
Netanyahu welcomed him into his party and made him his Chief of Staff, but he soon started his own solo projects and in 2012 created the religious Zionist party Jewish Home, with whom he obtained 12 seats in the elections of the following year.
Since then he has become a faithful ally of the Likud and Netanyahu awarded him with the ministries of Diaspora, Religious Services, Education and Defense. The problem between them is not ideologicalIt is more about management and personnel, the same thing that has happened to Netanyahu with other ex-protégés such as Avigdor Lieberman or Gideon Saar, who have also embarked on the government of change.
No to the Palestinian state
With Bennett’s possible promotion to the head of government, in a rotating agreement with Yair Lapid for the one who would occupy the seat for the first two years, the settlers take a further step in their political project and are about to place whoever was the leader of their council at the head of Israel. Bennett led the Yesha Council, a body that unites the West Bank colonies, but has never been a settler and has maintained its residence in Ra’anana.
One of the key points in their electoral program is the need to move from occupation to annexation of area C of the West Bank (After the Oslo accords, the West Bank was divided into three parts, on paper area A, under civilian and military control of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), area B under civilian control of the PNA and joint military control with Israel and the C, under the exclusive military control and almost total civilian control of Israel).
I also know oppose openly to the creation of a Palestinian state therefore it does not agree with the solution of the two states that the international community defends, with the government of Joe Biden to the head. When in 2013 he declared “I have killed many Arabs in my life and there is no problem”, his words occupied all the press headlines, something that he took advantage of to mark differences with Netanyahu because he claimed to be “further to the right” than the prime minister .
“We must continue working in this direction to annex this area C and give it an Israeli identity, the same as we did with the Golan and with East Jerusalem, areas that over the years the world has already understood that they are ours ”, is one of the maxims that the ultra-nationalist leader repeats in each campaign.
If this government of change is consummated, he will have the opportunity to lead this project that Netanyahu himself could not carry out, although given the coalition he has at his side he is pragmatic and has already advanced that «we’re all going to have to give in and we will not be able to fulfill our programs »
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism