Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Telegraph: Bennett's Ego Torpedoed his Job at Netanyahu's Office

In profile on Naftali Bennett, The Telegraph describes Bennett's departure from Netanyahu's office in simple words: "It is whispered that Mr Bennett's ego was too big for him to make a willing bag carrier for the boss: they fell out, and he left on bad terms."

Another detailed Haaretz piece by Barak Ravid puts the story about the bad blood between Bennett and Netanyahu in proportion. He was not fired by Sarah Netanyahu, sources close to the Prime minister say. "At least four sources who worked with Netanyahu at the time noted that he was not satisfied with Bennett’s performance, and felt that he 'was not delivering the goods.' They add that after leaving the bureau Bennett was behind various leaks against Netanyahu."

Haaretz spoke with five sources who worked in Netanyahu's bureau then or were involved in unfolding events. The revelations are pretty astonishing.
 "Bennett very quickly found himself at odds with the veteran advisers," says a source who worked with Netanyahu at the time. "They didn't like him. They thought he was overbearing and out of his depth."

"Sources from Netanyahu's bureau at the time relate that, in his first weeks on the job, Bennett avidly preached his new media theory to the advisers and urged the creation of a massive Internet presence for Likud. However, these sources say, Bennett neglected grass-roots Likud activity.

"Netanyahu rejected some of Bennett's ideas as being undeveloped and reflecting a lack of political experience. And the ideas he did accept did not produce the desired results."

 "According to sources previously employed in Netanyahu's bureau, Bennett and Shaked objected to Sara's involvement and viewed her as a potential obstacle to their boss' return to office. Accordingly, they tried to deny her access to his schedule... he completely ignored the fact that Netanyahu also has a personal family life.

“Bennett tried to change long-standing arrangements and refused to acknowledge reality,” said a person who worked with Netanyahu at the time. “If you want to be the chief of staff of a politician, you have to understand that his family is part of the package. Bennett did not get it.”

"Some of the people who worked with Netanyahu in that period − a few are still close to him or remain active in Likud − see the Bennett episode as part of a pattern of problematic, unstable behavior. They describe Bennett as “a zigzagger and an opportunist.” They point out that he has never held any post for long but has used each job as a springboard for the next. As evidence, they note that he stayed with Netanyahu for less than a year and a half, and was chairman of the Yesha Council for only a year and eight months.