WORLD NEWS

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s father dies at 102

Apr 30, 2012, 12:37 PM

Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) – Ben-Zion Netanyahu, the historian and Zionist activist whose skepticism about peacemaking with the Arabs helped to shape the world outlook of his son, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, died on Monday. He was 102.

The Prime Minister’s office said in a statement that he died at home. It did not give a cause of death but he had been ill recently.

Born Ben-Zion Mileikowsky in Warsaw, Poland, Netanyahu was a devout follower of revisionist Zionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky, who advocated Jewish military strength and opposed partitioning Palestine between Arabs and Jews. Netanyahu served as his personal aide until Jabotinsky’s death in 1940.

He then edited right-wing Jewish publications and earned a Ph.D in history from Dropsie College in Philadelphia, a center of Jewish learning that was later incorporated into the University of Pennsylvania. Later, he was a professor of Jewish history and Hebrew literature at the University of Denver and Cornell University, where he served as chairman of the department of Semitic languages and literature. He was the editor-in-chief of the Hebrew Encyclopedia for more than a decade.

He was best known in academic circles for his research into the medieval inquisition against the Jews of Spain.

His academic career had his family shuttling between the United States and Israel. He met with many Jewish leaders of the period, as well as with U.S. senators, Congressional representatives, poets and leaders, including Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Netanyahu and his wife, Tzila, had three sons: Yonatan, Benjamin and Iddo, all of whom served in the same elite military commando unit, Sayeret Matkal. Yonatan was killed while commanding the daring 1976 rescue of more than 100 Jewish and Israeli hostages on board an Air France jet in Entebbe, Uganda.

Following his son’s death, Netanyahu returned to Israel full-time. His middle son, Benjamin, entered politics and was elected prime minister of Israel in 1996 and again in 2009. Iddo, the youngest of the three, is a radiologist and writer.

Netanyahu is believed to have had great influence over his son’s politics and openly criticized him when his government made concessions toward the Palestinians.

Several analysts have speculated that Benjamin Netanyahu was emotionally unable to sign off on a comprehensive peace deal with Israel’s Arabs neighbors as long as his father was still alive, a notion the prime minister dismissed as “psychobabble.”

In newspaper interviews late in life, Ben-Zion Netanyahu forcefully questioned the feasibility of Mideast peace.

“The tendency to conflict is in the essence of the Arab. He is an enemy by essence. His personality won’t allow him any compromise or agreement. It doesn’t matter what kind of resistance he will meet, what price he will pay. His existence is one of perpetual war,” he told the Maariv daily in 2009. “The Arab citizens’ goal is to destroy us. They don’t deny that they want to destroy us.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

President Joe Biden walks towards members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn...

Associated Press

U.S. military airdrops thousands of meals over Gaza, many more airdrops expected

U.S. military C-130 cargo planes dropped food in pallets over Gaza on Saturday in the opening stage of an emergency humanitarian assistance.

18 hours ago

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who reportedly died in prison on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, i...

Associated Press

Alexei Navalny, galvanizing opposition leader and Putin’s fiercest foe, died in prison, Russia says

Alexei Navalny, the fiercest foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died Friday while incarcerated, the country's prison agency said.

16 days ago

Britain's King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave The London Clinic in central London, Monday, Jan...

Associated Press

Britain’s King Charles III has cancer and is receiving treatment

Britain's King Charles III has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and has begun treatment, Buckingham Palace announced Monday.

27 days ago

A resident flees an encroaching forest fire in Vina del Mar, Chile, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. Officia...

Associated Press

At least 46 reported dead in Chile as forest fires move into densely populated central areas

Intense forest fires burning around a densely populated area of central Chile have caused at least 46 deaths, Chile's pesident said Saturday.

29 days ago

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with a payload including two lunar rovers from Japan and the United Arab ...

Associated Press

Unmanned Japanese spacecraft successfully makes soft landing on moon

Japan became the fifth country in history to reach the moon when one of its unmanned spacecrafts successfully landed on the lunar surface.

1 month ago

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s father dies at 102