There can only be one lion at the head of the lion pride. When the Old Lion recognizes that the Young Lion has grown strong, he knows that he must either chase the young male away or kill him. Otherwise, the young one will eventually replace him.
That’s the way the world works.
For years Prime Minister Netanyahu has tried to minimize Bennett. He even sent him into the political wilderness of the Opposition, thinking that would be the end.
When his government was tottering with instability, Netanyahu called Bennett, offering the moon in return for joining the government, enabling Netanyahu to retain power.
Naftali Bennett said NO.
The Likud/Blue&White government was a monstrosity that could not function. It was time for the people of Israel to choose their own path. And here we are.
Tomorrow is election day.
Naftali Bennett’s relationship with Netanyahu fascinates the country. To many it is inconceivable that Bennett could support Netanyahu, although Netanyahu attacked him and worse, disparaged his family. Why not join the “anyone but Bibi camp” and announce that Netanyahu is persona non grata?
People who think that way, don’t know Naftali Bennett.
It would be easy to join the Bibi haters. Half, possibly more, of the country would support him.
The media would adore him and bolster his campaign.
But Naftali doesn’t do things because they are easy.
Bennett supported Netanyahu as long as he thought Netanyahu was the best choice of leader for the country. He put aside personal anger for the greater good of the country.
And Netanyahu did enormous good for the country.
The Corona crisis caused a lot of damage. It also revealed problems that are not new but in the extreme light of Covid, became impossible to ignore.
And it revealed that the Old Lion was finding it difficult to see the pain of regular folks. His power, still strong, has faded and issues that needed managing were not being taken care of. People who needed help felt they had no one to turn to.
That’s when Naftali decided to run for Prime Minister. Not out of hate for the Old Lion, out of desire to help the People of Israel. Out of the same motivation that brought him from high-tech to politics – to prevent unnecessary pain to the people, created by governmental mismanagement.
As old power fades, new power rises.
No one knows what these elections will bring. It is highly likely that Netanyahu will receive the mandate to create the next government. He is currently polling far away and above all the other parties.
Naftali has announced that he will not crown opposition leader Yair Lapid Prime Minister under any circumstances. Even for the price of becoming Prime Minister in rotation with Lapid. Again, not the easy choice. That was a choice motivated by values, not personal interest. How can I right wing leader justify creating a government headed by the left-wing leader?
This of course does not mean that it is impossible to collaborate with Lapid’s party in a coalition. After all, Netanyahu did so in the past…
Naftali has a quicksilver mind, and an iron will.
He has boundless energy and to him, “impossible” means that you didn’t think hard enough.
Some people “think outside the box”, for Naftali the box doesn’t exist.
He knows that he has already done what others considered impossible and that means he can do it again.
He brings with him a party of ideologically motivated professional doers, a stark contrast to the professional bureaucrats in other parties. Perhaps this time, the change that so many desire will not happen. I hope that his party will be strong enough to achieve results within whatever government is formed.
Change is in the air and the Young Lion waits.