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Naftali Bennett offers new, fresh, image with lots of leadership

Riding the wave of voters disappointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yamina leader Naftali Bennett offers fresh and pragmatic leadership.
Israeli Economy Minister and head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett plays the guitar and sings during an election campaign gathering for the Jewish community in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion in the Gush Etzion settlement block in the West Bank, on March 12, 2015, ahead of a snap general election scheduled March 17. Bennett, 42, is a champion of the settler movement and a key challenger of Netanyahu to head Israel's rightwing. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA        (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHAN

“In the next few years,” Knesset member Naftali Bennett, head of the opposition Yamina party told Al-Monitor, “We have to set aside all political and diplomatic issues, not talk about anything else and not deal with anything other than the coronavirus, the economy and the people of Israel’s ability to make a living.” 

This is ostensibly an obvious position for someone whose political star is rising on the back of the coronavirus pandemic. However, for those who like reading between the lines, Bennett’s comment has greater significance. “True, I fathered the calls to impose Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria [West Bank] and I am one of the annexation prophets,” Bennett conceded. “But in the next two to three years there is no point in dealing with this or anything else. This is not a burning issue right now and I also don’t see any negotiations on the horizon. Saving the economy, the state’s finances and people’s incomes is the only thing of importance.”

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