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Naftali Bennett, the nationalist leader on whom the future of Benjamin Netanyahu depends

                In Israel, in the aftermath of the March 23 legislative elections, the leader of the religious nationalist right Naftali Bennett, whose Yamina party is credited with an average of seven seats, perhaps holds the political future of Benjamin Netanyahu in his hands.  Decryption.

                                    <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>In the aftermath of the Israeli legislative elections, the Prime Minister</span></span></span></span> <span><span><span><span>Benjamin Netanyahu</span></span></span></span> <span><span><span><span><span><span><span>n</span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>can consider forming a coalition </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>government </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>without </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>duty </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>woo </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>his former Minister of Defense and </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>leader of the right </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>nationalist </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>religious, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Naftali</span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> Bennett</span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>, with whom he has a stormy relationship</span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>

In the very enviable position of the kingmaker, this last still does not have revealed his intentions, while his Yamina party (“Right”) can hope to win between 6 and 8 seats according to projections. What makes it essential for the two blocs, the pro and anti-Netanyahu, who se are affrontIt iss during this ballot.

“This power that you have given me, I will use by following one principle: to do what is good for Israel, what is good for the citizens of Israel,” said, in the night, Naftali Bennett. Before adding, not without ambiguity : “Lhe time has come to heal wounds, to overcome divisions. “

A two-way message, since at 48 years old, Naftali Bennett takes the opportunity to politically sink the prime minister by joining a coalition formed by the anti-Netanyahu bloc, made up of movements from the center, the left and right-wing dissidents , or to save it by negotiating, from a position of strength, its rallying to a coalition that will be more in tune with its own convictions.

Naftali Bennett is likely to cash very dearly for his eventual rallying to Benjamin Netanyahu “, underlines Alain Dieckhoff, director of the Sciences-Po International Research Center, interviewed by France 24. “The latter risks having to offer him and his family, very important ministries, even regal like the Ministry of Defense that he has. already busy, ”he said.

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And Dto continue : “Syears Naftali Bennett, it is almost impossible to form a coalition. Tout will depend on the leeway of Benjamin Netanyahu, if he does not manage to poach MPs from other parties, he will be very dependent on Yamina.

During the campaign, Naftali Bennett a repeatedly stated he was time that Benjamin Netanyahu, old 71 years old and in power since 2009, gives way to a new generation. Most he also assured that his Yamina party would not join a coalition of which the Prime Minister would be the centrist Yaïr Lapid, tout by not ruling out the possibility of working with him or with the Likud leader in a coalition.

Son of American Jewish immigrants turned multimillionaire

Native of Haifa (north) and graduated in law from the University of Jerusalem, cson of American Jewish immigrants could never have done Politics. Become multimillionaire after to have vendu sa society of cybersecurity Cyotta for $ 145 million in 2005, he could have, as he likes to recall, end his life to drink cocktails in the Caribbean“. It is his mobilization during the war ofe 2006 against Hezbollah in Lebanon who convinced him, he said, to get into politics.

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l’ex-company commander in the unit Maglan, one of the pillars of the special forces of the Israeli army, take the plunge and join the ranks of Likud, where he dirige the cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu, then in opposition. But his personal career starts Actually in 2012, when he manages to take the head of the hard right-wing formation Jewish Home, who will win 12 seats of deputies one year later.

A founding act that will propel him over the years au rang of the main actors of the right israelie, but still in the shadow of Benjamin Netanyahu, that he rallies several times ands of government coalitions, in exchange for wallets ministerial he was appointed Minister of Economy and Religious Affairs in 2013, Minister of Education in 2015, then Minister of Defense in 2019, until May 2020.

Firmly opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state which, according to him, “will in the long run become another terrorist state like Gaza”, and favorable to the expansion of Jewish settlements, where a large part of its electoral base is located, Naftali Bennett “likes to describe himself more to the right than Netanyahu”. The seduced with his uninhibited, even inflamed speeches on the strengthening of Israel’s “Jewish identity”, and its words shocks aiming the Palestinians and the left. To the point of being qualified, in 2017, from “clown” to the head of a “delusional nationalist party that smacks of fascism“by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Today he directs Yamina alongsideAyelet Shaked, secular figure of this movement made up of small right-wing parties radical which advocates both an economic ultraliberalism combining lower taxes and drastic cuts in public spending, a hard line against Iran and the annexation of nearly two-thirds of the occupied West Bank.

Naftali Bennett broke into politics in what is known as religious Zionism, but he broadened his spectrum to the right over the years, explains Alain Deckhoff. This is what led him to lead today Yamina, which is a somewhat mixed movement with a religious Zionist base and at the same time a slightly more secular dimension, represented by his right arm, the deputy. Ayelet Shaked.”

“Sentenced to get along with Benjamin Netanyahu”

Religious orthodox having grown up in a secular family, Naftali Bennett ne no belt sharingr ideological affinities with Benjamin Netanyahu, even if thes two men do not like each other on a personal level and do not hesitate to shout at each other during electronic campaignstorals.

Naftali Bennett, who assumes a fairly strict religious practice while being extremely modern in form, heads the party that has become the spearhead of the colonies and he remains’Netanyanhu-compatible ‘”, recently indicated to France 24 Frédéric Encel, lecturer at Science Po and author of “The Geopolitical Atlas of Israel” (ed. Autrement). And to add: “La right of Likud observed in recent years has brought the points of view between the two men closer together.

Naftali Bennett stands also other political actorss in aagreementant the benefit of the doubt at Benjamin Netanyahu, prosecuted for corruption in three cases, saying wait for the verdict of justice, where others demand his withdrawal from the political scene during his trials.

A way to spare his rival with whom he could rule again, while waiting for his time to come, he whoI said during the campaign that his goal was to become prime minister himself.

His profile as a religious leader is an obstacle to his ambitions personal, because the fact is that in Israel so far there has never been a prime minister who clearly displayed himself as religious, says Alain Deckhoff.

And to conclude: “Today, Naftali Bennett is not in a position to take the head of a government, his party weighs three times less than the Likud at the end of these legislative ones. He is therefore condemned to get along with Benjamin Netanyahu, unless you switch to the other camp and cause the misunderstanding of a great namebre of his voterss.”


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