Prime Minister Bennett’s government delivered rapid results in a one-year period including: bringing the quietest year to Israel’s residents along the Gaza border and the Negev, overcoming a wave of terror, passing a reform-packed budget, successfully dealing with two waves of COVID, moving the conflict with Iran to its own soil, and reducing unemployment and the national deficit to record lows.
Bennett also took bold action in an attempt to mediate a peaceful solution between Russia and Ukraine by travelling to Moscow to hold talks with President Putin, while speaking with President Zelensky on the phone. Following the historic Abraham Accords, Bennett became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Before moving into politics, Bennett enjoyed a successful career as a hi-tech entrepreneur. In 1999, he co-founded the information security company Cyota with three partners and served as CEO until the company was sold in 2005 to RSA for $145 million. In 2009, Bennett served as CEO of Soluto, a cloud computing start-up, which was later sold to Asurion for $130 million.
Between 2006 and 2008, Bennett served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff and ran his campaign for the Likud primary election. In 2012, Naftali Bennett decided to join Israeli politics and became the leader of the Jewish Home party. After a huge success at the 2013 Knesset election, Bennett was appointed Minister of Economy, Minister of Religious Services, Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, and became a member of the State Security Cabinet. After subsequent elections, Bennett went on to serve as Minister of Education and Minister of Defense, among other senior Cabinet posts, where he was known for his innovations and reforms.
Bennett was born and raised in Haifa to American parents, who made Aliyah to Israel in 1967 immediately after the Six Day War. He served as a combat soldier in Sayeret Matkal and as a Company Commander in the Maglan Special Forces Unit, where he commanded a series of operations in Lebanon behind enemy lines. During the Second Intifada in 2002, Bennett took a hiatus from his duties as at Cyota CEO to join Operation “Defensive Shield and in 2006 he commanded search and destroy missions during the Second Lebanon War.
Bennett lives in Ra’anana, is married to Gilat, and has four young children.