Here’s a look at the life of Israel’s former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Birth date: March 25, 1972
Birth place: Haifa, Israel
Birth name: Naftali Bennett
Father: Jim Bennett
Mother: Myrna (Lefko) Bennett
Marriage: Gilat Bennett (1999-present)
Children: Four children
Education: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, bachelor’s degree in Law
Military service: Israeli Defense Forces Sayeret Matkal and Maglan units, 1990-1996, Commander
His parents are immigrants from San Francisco.
Is a former tech entrepreneur and millionaire.
Bennett is considered comparatively liberal on a handful of issues. Despite his religious background, he said that gay people should “fully have all the civil rights a straight person in Israel has,” the Times of Israel reported – though he also said that didn’t mean he would take action to ensure legal equality.
April 18, 1996 - During his military service, Bennett leads a unit into Lebanon during Israel’s “Operation Grapes of Wrath,” in which an Israeli artillery strike near a UN camp kills more than 100 civilians. The incident is known as the Qana Massacre.
1999 - Moves from Israel to New York to launch the tech start-up Cyota, a cybersecurity and anti-fraud software company.
2005 - Sells Cyota to RSA Security for $145 million.
2006-2008 - Serves as chief of staff under Benjamin Netanyahu.
2009 - Serves as CEO of Soluto, a software company, for several months.
January 2010-January 2012 - Serves as director of The Yesha Council, an organization representing Jewish settlements in the West Bank and their populations.
2012 - Leads the pro-settler party Jewish Home, making his desire to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state a central plank of his pitch to voters.
March 2013 - Appointed as Minister of Economy, Minister of Religious Services, Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs.
November 5, 2014 - Writes in an op-ed in the New York Times, “The old models of peace between Israel and the Palestinians are no longer relevant. The time has come to rethink the two-state solution.”
February 2015 - Appointed as Acting Senior Citizen Affairs Minister
May 2015 - Appointed as Minister of Education and Minister for Diaspora Affairs.
October 8, 2018 - The Times of Israel reports that Bennett says if he were defense minister, he would enact a “shoot to kill” policy on the border with Gaza. Asked if that would apply to children breaching the barrier, he replies: “They are not children – they are terrorists. We are fooling ourselves.”
2019 - Rebrands the Jewish Home party as “Yamina” after merging with another party.
May 30, 2021 - Bennett announces he is working toward a coalition agreement with Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist party Yesh Atid, to join a new government.
June 2, 2021 - Lapid announces an eight-party coalition agreement has been signed. Under the agreement, Bennett will focus on domestic issues during his two years as prime minister, before he hands the reins to Lapid in August 2023.
June 13, 2021 - Bennett is sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister after winning a confidence vote with 60 votes to 59, bringing an end to Netanyahu’s run as the country’s prime minister after more than 12 consecutive years in office.
December 12, 2021 - Bennett travels to the United Arab Emirates to meet with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Bennet is the first Israeli prime minister to visit the United Arab Emirates.
February 14, 2022 - Travels to Bahrain to meet with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa. Bennett is the first Israeli prime minister to visit Bahrain.
June 29, 2022 - Bennett announces he will not run for reelection as prime minister, the day before the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, votes to dissolve itself, triggering new elections. Bennett’s coalition partner Lapid takes over as caretaker prime minister on July 1.