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WATCH: 5 Israeli politicians every Christian should know besides Netanyahu

Join us as we delve into the world of Israeli politics by introducing you to five influential leaders you may have not known. Watch the video above or read the transcript.

Welcome to ALL ISRAEL 101. My name is Kayla Sprague and today we will get to know a few of the most influential leaders in Israeli politics. While Benjamin Netanyahu's tenure has loomed large over Israeli politics for decades, it is crucial for those with a love for Israel to understand the diverse array of political figures shaping the nation's future. Just as we wouldn’t sum up the entire U.S. political landscape with Trump or Biden alone, let's explore five key players beyond the iconic "Bibi."

First, we have Yair Lapid, a centrist politician and former journalist who founded the Yesh Atid party. Lapid's supporters view him as a champion of democratic values and a bridge-builder across societal divides. Critics, however, perceive him as an elitist out of touch with the common Israeli.

While he found success in establishing his party, Lapid fell short in his bid to unseat Netanyahu in the 2013 elections. Nonetheless, he later formed a government with Naftali Bennett, briefly serving as prime minister of Israel.

Next is Benny Gantz, a retired military chief whose impressive security credentials and pragmatic approach nearly secured him the premiership in the 2021 elections. Gantz's supporters see him as a stable hand capable of navigating Israel's complex challenges, while detractors criticize his centrist policies as indecisive. Though his political alliance with Netanyahu ultimately collapsed, Gantz remains a formidable presence in Israeli politics, although some on the right claim that he is too closely aligned with the Biden administration. 

Moving on, the controversial Itamar Ben Gvir, a disciple of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, has attracted support from hardline Israelis prioritizing Jewish sovereignty and security. However, his uncompromising rhetoric and past, including incitement against Yitzhak Rabin right before his assassination, have raised concerns among Israel's allies and secular citizens. Ben Gvir's ascendance reflects deepening societal divisions within Israel.

And now, to the only immigrant on our list. Born in Moldova, Avigdor Liberman's career has been marked by unpredictability, mirroring the shifting sands of Israeli politics. Once a close ally of Netanyahu, he later became a formidable opponent, resigning as defense minister in 2018 over disagreements regarding Gaza policy. His recent resurgence, fueled by calls for tougher action against Hamas, has won over hawkish Israelis, though critics view him as an opportunist.

We end with Naftali Bennett, a right-wing politician, achieved a significant feat by forming a coalition government with centrist and left-wing parties, including a member of the Israeli Islamic Movement, effectively dethroning Netanyahu after his long tenure. Despite a stormy candidacy that ultimately led him out of the political realm for now, Israeli politics has a way of positioning those on the sidelines for a stronger-than-ever return, and many are anticipating Bennett's resurgence in the near future.

So while Benjamin Netanyahu's legacy in Israeli politics is undeniable, these five figures represent the diverse currents that will shape the nation's future. For those with a deep affection for Israel, understanding their backgrounds, ideologies, and the varying perceptions surrounding them is crucial to grasping the region's complex dynamics.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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