Naftali Bennett who is the leader of Israel’s far-right Yamina party, is likely to become Israel’s next Prime Minister. What do we know about him? First up, he dreams of annexing most of the occupied West Bank into Israel. Reuters defines him as a ‘modern-Orthodox religious Jew’, which is not good news for the Palestinians.

“Bennett has said that creation of a Palestinian state would be suicide for Israel, citing security reasons,” Reuters has reported. In 2013, he told The New Yorker: “I will do everything in my power, forever, to fight against a Palestinian state being founded in the land of Israel.” 

However, unlike some of his former allies on the religious right, Bennett is comparatively liberal on issues such as gay rights and Israel being a more secular state.


Bennett studied law at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and also worked in the technology sector. In 1999, he formed a start-up and then moved to New York, eventually selling his anti-fraud software company, Cyota, to U.S. security firm RSA for $145 million in 2005.

Born to American parents who immigrated to Israel, Bennett is a former Israeli soldier. He entered politics in 2013 and was appointed Minister of Economy, Minister of Religious Services, and Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs.

He threw his crucial support on Sunday behind a “unity government” in Israel to deseat Prime Minister Benjamin (PM) Netanyahu, in what would be the end of a political era.

Bennett’s decision, which he announced in a televised address, could enable opposition chief Yair Lapid to put together a coalition of right-wing, centrist and leftist parties and hand Netanyahu his first election defeat since 1999.