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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:47 PM


Naftali Bennett, Israel's New Rightwing Star

AFP - A smile on his lips, his voice direct and authoritative, his agenda rightwing but broadbased, Naftali Bennett is quickly turning into the newest darling of Israel's national religious bloc.

Just under a month before snap elections on January 22, Bennett's Jewish Home party is snatching seats away from the joint list of premier Benjamin Netanyahu's rightwing Likud faction and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu of former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Polls project that the party, which now holds just three seats in the 120-seat Knesset, will win between 11 and 13 in the upcoming elections, many of them snapped from the Likud-Beitenu list, which still stands to win the most seats of any party, around 35.

The son of American immigrants to Israel, 40-year-old Bennett has succeeded in reviving the fortunes of a party that had its heyday in the 1960s, but has been a member of government coalitions from 1948 to 1992.



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Reply Naftali Bennett, Israel's New Rightwing Star (Original post)
Purveyor Dec 2012 OP
freshwest Dec 2012 #1
CincyDem Dec 2012 #2
freshwest Dec 2012 #3

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:49 PM

1. Are the American emigrants more radical than the locals? Strange brew there.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:55 PM

2. Hard to categorize - probably moving the average to the right.

If I think about our little community, it seems as through the folks who have (or are considering) aliyah...the act of moving to Isreal...these folks seem to fall into the right side of the political spectrum on most things Israel. I'm sure they're more liberal than the local orthodox but probably more conservative than the average man on the street in Tel Aviv.

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Response to CincyDem (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 04:11 PM

3. It would seem the emphasis on religion could be considered a RW thing. Israel is said to be secular.

In government that is, the roots of its beginning may not wholly be secular. It's not good to have another theocracy developing over there, but we can do nothing, it's not our business.

I don't believe such a government can be termed democratic. Not even in the loosest meaning of the term, as it will instinctively discriminate against the minority religion or lack of religion among the citizenry. Because its mission must be the religion it represents and all the functions of the state will be subordinate to that.

Fundies in the USA will love this, likely. I feel at times Israel is their puppet and not the other way some people say it is. The financial figures argue against that, but that's my gut reaction after listening to too many fundies trying to derive their authority from their support of Israel.

I don't buy the 'zionists control the US government' conspiracy stories for that reason. For one thing, they are rooted in the 'protocols...' and that is widely regarded as anti-semitic propaganda.

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