Naftali Bennett poses for prayer picture

The man set to be Israel's new Prime Minister highlighted his Orthodox credentials in the face of criticism


Israel’s Prime Minister-designate, Naftali Bennett, who is set to become Israel's first kippah-wearing leader, has posted on Twitter a picture of himself at praye, together with the text of a common Jewish blessing as he prepares to be sworn in.

Bennett’s decision to highlight his a religious credentials was a clear response to the attacks against him by far-right religious protesters, who are furious with him for heading a coalition with not just secular leaders, such as Labor’s Merav Michaeli, but specifically with the Arab grouping, Ra’am.

The post sparked a furious response from his far right detractors.

One social media poster, responding to Bennett’s picture, wrote:

“What a bold forehead of a certified crook. Do you think this frame and this quote make an impression on anything?

"You will have no resurrection in the Jewish people and you will be buried outside the fence, a piece of filth”.

The reference to being buried “outside the fence” is an allusion to the traditional place in Jewish cemeteries reserved for those who have committed crimes.

Bennett’s inauguration as Israel’s 13th prime minister has been marked by a massive increase in security policing of his home in Ra’anana, and that of the other ministers in the new government, many of whom have received death threats.

He has announced that he does not intend to live in the formal Jerusalem residence of the prime minister, in Balfour Street, instead reserving it for receptions for visiting politicians and other high-profile visitors.

For his part, Yair Lapid, the architect of the new coalition, who will become prime minister in 2024 if the government lasts that long, posted a simple comment: “A morning of change”.

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