On late Sunday evening, IST Israel selected a new Prime Minister with Naftali Bennett, replacing the 12-year reign of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. The Knesset voted him out of power and brought in the new leader in charge. Netanyahu was the longest-reigning leader of Israel who recently got involved in a controversy regarding fraud. He is currently on trial for the charges against him.
The new Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett, was a close aide to Netanyahu and is considered as one of his right-hand men. News is that he is supposed to be the leader for two years, after which he is again to be replaced with a centrist leader, Yair Lapid. This is, of course, if the government can survive for two years given its current fragile state.
Naftali Bennett is a 49-year-old tech-mogul who made millions as an entrepreneur before joining right-wing politics. He has been labelled by the Israeli press as being 'ultra nationalist'. That sentiment has been confirmed by Bennett himself, who in an interview confirmed that he is a much more religious and nationalistic person than the previous Prime Minister Netanyahu. However, he draws the line at using religion to create polarization in public for political gains.
Bennett has been a relatively staunch supporter of the annexation of the West Bank of Israel ever since, Bennett has been active in politics since 2013. Previously he had worked as an aide to Netanyahu since 2006-2008. He left his position after problems arose in the relation between Bennett and Netanyahu. Soon after that, he joined the National religious Jewish Home Party and entered the parliament as an elected candidate in 2013.
Bennett is opinionated and has hard stances when it comes to his political and ideological beliefs. He has a strict stance against the statehood of Palestine and the independence of the state. He, in fact, is a strong believer in the Jewish nation-state. He is also a supporter of the rights of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank of Israel. However, he does not believe in laying any Israeli claim over Gaza.
For the violence that is rampant between Israel and Palestine, Bennett is a strong believer in the death sentence of the Palestinian and Hamas militants that have attacked and killed civilians in Gaza. He supported Israel's retaliation of the killings in the form of coordinated airstrikes on the Hamas militants who were firing rockets at Israel from Gaza.
Bennett, in an interview, has claimed that he is a strong believer in his political ideologies and is proud of being a right-wing politician and a 'man of the national camp'. He has also vowed to be staunchly against Palestinian statehood under any and every circumstance. Having Naftali Bennett in power proves to be a bad sign for Palestinians who were hoping to make amends with the Israeli government and sue for peace and possibly getting their statehood finally.
Israel is a politically important country in international politics. The presence of a weak government in an important country as such can have many drawbacks. The new Prime Minister of Israel has been in politics for merely eight years, and he has already assumed the state's power. What does this mean for the balance between Israel and Palestine and, in turn, for Israel's role in global politics? Only time will tell.