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EXPLAINER: Who is Naftali Bennett, Israel's new leader?

Naftali Bennett
Posted at 7:34 PM, Jun 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-13 19:34:05-04

JERUSALEM (AP) — Naftali Bennett, Israel’s new prime minister, embodies many of the contradictions that define the 73-year-old nation.

He’s a religious Jew who made millions in the mostly secular hi-tech sector; a champion of the settlement movement who lives in a Tel Aviv suburb; a former ally of Benjamin Netanyahu who has partnered with centrist and left-wing parties to end his 12-year rule.

His ultranationalist party won just seven seats in the 120-member Knesset. But by refusing to commit to Netanyahu or his opponents, Bennett positioned himself as kingmaker — and ended up with the crown.

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