Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Naftali Bennett & Danny Danon: Israel’s Rising Political Stars

December 12, 2012 9:25 pm 5 comments

Israeli MK and Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon. Photo: World Likud.

A  change has come to Israeli politics with the rise of politicians who have been influenced by America, and who have a very clear understanding of how public relations works and the importance of “Branding Israel.”

As CEO of a public relations firm,  I find their success impressive and striking, yet the foreign media have ignored this angle of Israeli politics, as it doesn’t reflect the liberal agenda on Israel that so many of them wish to perpetuate.

With Israeli elections less than two months away, there remains no candidate who presents any real threat to Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu. In the background, however, are major candidates who are young, and are products of the “Facebook generation.”  Their influence is very different to what we have seen from younger candidates in previous Israeli elections.

I am speaking of Danny Danon and Naftali Bennett who both speak “American,” and have strong positions on Israeli security, not clouded by self depreciating liberal Jewish ideas.  If they were liberals one could expect fawning editorials about them in American media outlets. But, as they aren’t liberals, I’ll have to do the fawning:

40-year old Israeli Naftali Bennett was born to American parents and was recently elected Chairman of the Jewish Home party (Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi). Current polls indicate that his party will emerge post election as the 3rd largest political party in Israel.

Bennett served in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit of the IDF, and at the age of 27 founded a company which he sold 6 years later for $145 Million.  He lived in New York City for a few years building the company, until he returned to Israel where he fought in the Second Lebanon War and then served as Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff.

Bennett is independently wealthy, self-made and driven strictly by Zionism.  As I wrote back in August 2011:

“Bennett is also among the rare Zionists who care about the PR brand of Israel – he started “Israel Sheli” (My Israel), a network of pro-Israel activists committed to spreading Zionism online. It is dedicated to digital media work – from Wikipedia to Twitter to Facebook – to present a balanced view online of Israel and Israeli PR.” Bennett asks: “What does the world want from us; what do the Arab nations want from this small Jewish State?”

Naftali Bennett is going places and is well on his way to a senior cabinet position.

Inside Netanyahu’s Likud Party, a Tea Party type-revolution has taken place where Young Turks have overcome older party hacks, and 41-year old Danny Danon undoubtedly is a leader of the “New Likud.”  Danon is currently Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and head of World Likud, he is listed at number 9 on the joint Likud/Yisrael Beitenu list and is a likely Cabinet Member in the next Netanyahu government. He lived in America for a number of years while completing his Masters degree and visits the country regularly.  He often appears in the media, has already written his first book, and regularly hosts visiting politicians to explain to them the true situation on the ground in Israel.

While leaders like Danon and Bennett aren’t what the liberal media would like to see in Israel, the people of Israel are speaking -and these two will undoubtedly dominate the political scene in Israel for many years to come.  These two young leaders epitomize the best of the young political leadership of Israel.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist.


  • Dr. Lawrence Ebai-ngoh, President, African Coalition for Israel and World Likud member, Cameroon

    MK Danny Danon is a rare new breed Israeli politician. Danny is passionate about Israel his home State. As Chairman of World Likud, Danny has brought in fresh breath into the Jewish organization. For the first time in the history of Wolrd Likud, gentile Christian Zionists from the US and Africa sat side by side with the Jews during the First World Likud Board of Governors conference at JERUSALEM in june 2007.MK Danon made this possible.I was one of the African gentiles who participated in the conference.
    Today, there are Christian Zionists World Likud chapters in Africa.MK Danon like late Mayor Ron Nachman is a bridge between Israel and the Evangelical Christian community worldwide.The Christian Zionists are an ally to Israel.
    I believe that MK Danon will be the Prime Minister of Israel not many years from now. Christian Zionists are proud of his work in the Knesset and his VISIONARY leadership in World Likud.

  • I live in Israel and Mr Bennet is definitely a interesting politician .I believe him, and I like his direct manner, and because of his Army experience, he knows what he’s talking about. I feel that the Army is the spinal cord of Israeli Life, and our survival in the Middle East is our priority and we have made concessions in the past, Oslo, Gush Kativ, Reality speaks for itself. It’s a shame that the Arab world don’t want to live in peace.

  • Danny Danon is honest and good and will be prime minister

  • Brilliant article — Love Bennett and Danon.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features Has Shia LaBeouf Reached the End of the Line?

    Has Shia LaBeouf Reached the End of the Line?

    Was Shia LaBeouf’s performance art piece at Manhattan’s Angelica Film Center (where he spent three days watching his own films) a sign of madness or genius? Judging from the lines and the fans, it was the latter. Shortly before 6 a.m. on Thursday, approximately 140 people were on line for the last day of the live-streamed event at Angelica Film Center. Fans who waited were happy to give their opinions. “I don’t think he’s crazy,” said Elliot Quartz, an 18-year-old student at the New School, who waited […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Jewish Artists From New York Release New Rap Album in English, Hebrew, Aramaic

    Jewish Artists From New York Release New Rap Album in English, Hebrew, Aramaic

    Eden Pearlstein freely admits that he has an addiction. But his brings people up instead of bringing them down. “I am a chronic collaborator,” says Pearlstein, a 35-year-old rapper who goes by the moniker of Eprhyme, and has released several solo albums. “Deeper and Higher” — his new album — is a collaboration with Shir Yakov Feit, who co-writes the songs and music. The friends and fellow artists both explore the relationship between man and God, and the benefit and emotional weight of introspection. With lyrics in English, Hebrew, and Aramaic, the artists stress […]

    Read more →