Naftali Bennett, leader of ultranationalist party, runs for top cabinet post in upcoming poll

Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Jewish Home party, who emerged as a surprise success story in the 2013 election, is now widely seen as being in the running for a top cabinet post, if Netanyahu forms the next governing coalition.

BEIT ARIEH, WEST BANK (MARCH 15, 2015) (CH.2) – Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Jewish Home party, emerged as a surprise success story in the 2013 election, advocating annexation of more than half of the occupied West Bank and calling a Palestinian state “suicide” for Israel.

Bennett, a religious Jew, has expanded his party’s appeal to younger, more secular Israelis through a series of hip campaign commercials in which the 42-year-old mocks liberals, whom he accuses of apologising to the world for Israel’s existence.

Now economy minister, he is widely seen as being in the running for a top cabinet post if Netanyahu forms the next governing coalition.

Born in Israel to parents from San Francisco, Bennett spent years in the United States before he sold his anti-fraud software company to a U.S. security firm for $145 million.