Jerusalem Post 50 Most Influential Jews: Number 8 - Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Liberman, Gideon Sa'ar

Nothing lasts forever, and a number of challengers are poised to take on the mantle of future leaders of the Right in a post-Netanyahu era.

October 2, 2016 15:25
1 minute read.
Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Liberman and Gideon Sa’ar

Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Liberman and Gideon Sa’ar. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For a symbolic $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been compared to an evergreen tree: He is politically strong and impressive, but nothing can grow under him.

However, nothing lasts forever, and a number of challengers are poised to take on the mantle of future leaders of the Right in a post-Netanyahu era, if that ever arrives.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Two of them sit in Netanyahu’s coalition and were, incidentally both former Netanyahu aides: Bayit Yehudi, led by Naftali Bennett, and Yisrael Beytenu, headed by Avigdor Liberman, both former Likudniks.

Both see themselves as future leaders of the country, and heads of a future right-wing alignment that could challenge Netanyahu.

Could Bennett and Liberman also return to Likud? That will depend on political circumstances.

For instance, Netanyahu could work out a deal with Bennett on a joint Likud-Bayit Yehudi list ahead of the next election, in order to ensure that Netanyahu will head the largest party. That could be a first step toward Bennett returning to the Likud and, perhaps, eventually taking it over. While that experience did not work out well when Likud and Yisrael Beytenu ran together in 2013, in politics, necessity is the mother of invention.

Sa’ar could form another party ahead of the next election, perhaps with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon. Polls show he could do well, attracting support from the Right, Center, and even the Left, despite his firm opposition to a Palestinian state.

However, Sa’ar stresses that he is a proud Likudnik, and he is very popular among Likud activists. He has denied recent headlines that he has already decided to end his political time-out, come back and run in the next Likud primary.

The most likely scenario is that he will stay on the sidelines until Netanyahu leaves and clears the way for him.

Related Content

Jerusalem Post News
June 14, 2018
This week in 60 seconds: UN condemns excessive Israeli force against Palestinians