Meet Naftali Bennett who may oust Israel’s longest-serving PM Netanyahu

Tel Aviv: Former Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett is likely to oust the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Recently, Bennett accepted a coalition deal with Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid to form government in the country.

Justifying his decision, Bennett, a former ally of Netanyahu, has said that he wants to prevent the country from going for another round of elections. Earlier, Israel has held four elections in the past two years but none of them able to produce a clear majority.

Who is Naftali Bennett?

Naftali Bennett who is the leader of the Yamina Party is the son of immigrants from the United States. He has served in special forces units of the Israeli Defense Forces before becoming a software entrepreneur.

MS Education Academy

In 2006, he entered politics. Until 2008, he served as Chief of Staff. Later, he has become the leader of Jewish Home Party.

Under his leadership, the representation of Jewish Home Party in the country’s parliament increased by four times.

Later, he has become the leader of Yamina Party. In the recently held elections in the country, the party won seven seats of Knesset, the national legislature of Israel.

Earlier, he had also held various portfolios including defense, economy and education.

Naftali Bennett’s stand on Israel-Palestine issue

When it comes to the Israel-Palestine issue, Naftali Bennett’s stand is the same as that of Netanyahu. A few years back, he had said, “Palestinians terrorist should be killed, not released”, Aljazeera reported.

He had also said that West Bank is not under occupation as Palestinian state never existed there.

What is the coalition deal?

In the elections held in March, Netanyahu’s Likud party fallen short of securing the parliamentary majority. When he failed to form the government, President Reuven Rivlin appointed Lapid to do so.

Lapid has to form new coalition government by Wednesday.

In order to form the government, Bennett and Lapid have agreed to rotate as PM of Israel. Bennett will serve first.

Who is Yair Lapid?

Yair Lapid who was a journalist before joining politics has launched his political party, Yesh Atid in 2012.

During 2013-14, his party was part of Netanyahu’s coalition government and he served as country’s finance minister.

In the elections held in March this year, his party emerged as the second-largest party. Currently, Yair Lapid is the opposition leader in Knesset.

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