Naftali Bennett, who was sworn in Sunday as 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, and a former ally of Benjamin Netanyahu who has partnered with centrist and left-wing parties to end his 12-year rule.
His ultranationalist Yamina party won just seven seats in the 120-member Knesset in March elections — the fourth such vote in two years. But by refusing to commit to Netanyahu or his opponents, Bennett positioned himself as kingmaker. Even after one member of his religious nationalist party abandoned him to protest the new coalition deal, he ended up with the crown.