A little over nine years ago, a good friend from Queens called me up with a request. Can I please interview an Israeli speaker with a good English who is in New York for a few days and can talk about the Middle East?
My friend had been tasked with finding a speaker on the topic of Israel for a local shul dinner. Failing to locate a prominent Israeli politician, she was desperate to find anyone with a good English. Someone suggested a little-known Israeli entrepreneur who happened to be in New York. Having no choice, she arranged for him to speak. His speech was a big success. My friend liked what she heard and, with the help of a PR consultant, got him on local media stations to speak on Israel’s behalf.
I met him on March 6, 2012, in the basement of the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue on the Upper East Side. We spoke against the backdrop of a boisterous group of children in a playgroup in the room next door. I too was impressed with what I heard. After listening to his ideology on Israel and the Middle East, which I recorded, I urged him to go into politics. I told him that the only way to implement what I thought were excellent ideas was to enact them into policy as a politician.
The man’s name was Naftali Bennett
A previously unpublished interview with the man who would be prime minister