Naftali Bennett, one of the fast rising stars in Israeli politics, is poised to capture between 14 and 17 seats in the coming Israeli elections, which could make him the leader of Israel’s third largest party.
The son of American immigrants who speaks fluent English, he heads the Bayit HaYehudit (“Jewish Home”) party, which has until recently failed to capture real momentum among the Israeli voting public. But that is starting to change– and fast.
Bennett, a software tycoon who lives in the bourgeois city of Ra’anana, rather than in the settlements, is former CEO of the Yesha Council. He spoke to Moment for the magazine’s profile of Dani Dayan, in the January/Febraury’s 2011 “The Man Who Stopped the Freeze.” Read the profile here to get more information on Bennett’s very successful campaign to bring famous Israelis to visit the West Bank. “They come to Yesha and see the peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs,” he told Moment, using the acronym that refers to Judea and Samaria. “They see the vast amount of land available for Jews and Arabs. And they can only see all of this from being there—not from talking about it.”