Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s grip on power loosened further this weekend as his political rivals stepped up to oust him from office.
Amid a complex political tussle, Netanyahu’s ally Naftali Bennett officially parted ways with Israel’s current leader and announced his bid to become the country’s Prime Minister.
Political analysts say that Bennett is most likely to lead the country after Netanyahu is ultimately ousted. Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister is on trial for fraud, and he fell short of obtaining majority support after the general election in March this year — the country’s fourth inconclusive vote in two years.
Bennett, a 49-year-old politician with American parents is a former tech entrepreneur who made millions before switching to, and getting deeply involved in, rightwing politics and a religious-nationalist political position.
Some observers and newspapers in Israel have labeled him “ultra-nationalist” for his views. Bennett, leader of the Yamina party, told The Times of Israel this February: “I’m more rightwing than Bibi (Netanyahu), but I don’t use hate or polarisation as a tool to promote myself politically.”