There is an interesting public relations message emanating from Israel as the world watches Israel apparently turn to the right in the elections slated for a few weeks.
For so many years, the same elder statesmen of Israel have controlled power, one wonders after Netanyahu this election, who is the young generation next to seize the wheel? (And the vacuum will be even more pronounced if Lieberman is indicted).
Who are the young political leaders in Israel?
- 41-year old Danny Danon: In many ways perhaps Likud MK Danny Danon represents the future of Israel. Media-savvy, having already written a book entitled “Israel, The Will to Prevail” as he says in the introduction to his book “I represent a new generation of leaders who see Israel taking a different and more autonomous path than it has over the past several decades,” and in interview after interview, “I present a new approach of a young generation of Israelis who are not afraid to say what they think and to speak about the biblical rights of the land. I think it is about time to stop being apologetic.” He finished in the 5th slot in the recent Likud Primaries, and is a right-wing rising star who is regularly featured in worldwide media. The LA Jewish Journal says “What Danny says is what Bibi is actually thinking.” Clear leader of the young generation of the Likud, which has been Israel’s ruling party for many years.
- 46-year old Gideon Saar of Likud who currently serves as Minister of Education. He received the most votes in 2012 Likud primaries. He is seen as a close ally of Netanyahu so one may want to see the fate of Netanyhau over the next few years to help determine how far Saar will go.
- 40 year old Naftali Bennett: A self-made national religious millionaire, he can indeed be the poster child of “Start-Up Nation.” Driven, motivated, ideological he has worked in politics and business. Has risen very quickly to become a household name in Israel and has a bright future ahead of him. (And add his right-hand woman, the smart, good-looking Ayelet Shaked, 37, a Tel Aviv nationalist to the list also.)
- 42 year old Gilad Erdan is Minister of Enviornment and Chairman of Likud Youth. He has already been a member of Parliament for 10 years and is formerly an Advisor to both Ariel Sharon and Binyamin Netanyahu.
There are many others – From Yoel Hasson to Nir Barkat (if he decides he wants a national stage), Ze’ev Elkin to Tzipi Chotovely, Moshe Kahlon (who seems out of politics for now).
Of course remember no one knew who Barack Obama was 10 years ago.