Naftali Bennett and the New Hard Line in Israeli Politics

Photograph by Amir Levy / Getty

In 2013, David Remnick revealed a profile of Naftali Bennett. Remnick wrote that Bennett was one thing new in Israeli politics, a person who would “build a sturdy electoral bridge between the religious and the secular, the hilltop outposts of the West Bank and the start-up suburbs.” Though religiously observant, Bennett was cosmopolitan: fluent on Facebook, and as fast to cite “Seinfeld” as he was the Talmud. He had been a frontrunner of the settler motion, and, though he lived in a contemporary home in a well-to-do Tel Aviv suburb, there was no ambiguity about Bennett’s hard-line stance on the Palestinian query. He disdained the peace strategy of an earlier time. “I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state,” he advised Remnick. “No more illusions.”

Bennett has now unseated his former boss, Benjamin Netanyahu, as the Prime Minister of Israel. Remnick spoke with two writers in the area about this political upheaval. Raja Shehadeh, who is predicated in Ramallah, says that the altering of the guard will imply little on the West Bank, the place the current bloody battle was a propaganda victory for Hamas. Ruth Margalit, who is predicated in Tel Aviv, says that, although the peace motion appears all however lifeless, the altering of a political epoch—and the presence of the first Arab-Israeli social gathering ever represented in the Knesset—needs to be seen as a chance for change.

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