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.

5 Comments

  • 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.

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