News > Monday, April-30-2012

PM's father Benzion Netanyahu passes away at the age of 102

Netanyahu senior was a renowned historian, specializing in the golden age of Jewish history in Spain, and a professor emeritus at Cornell University.

He was secretary to Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and was a Revisionist leader of the Zionist Movement in the United States.

He also served as the science editor for the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, published between 1944 and 2005.

Prof. Netanyahu was known to hold political views that were often more to the Right than his son's, and was often publicly critical of the prime minister's policies.

In 2004 he signed a petition of academicians who opposed the Gaza disengagements.

Benzion Netanyahu was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1910. His family immigrated to then-Palestine in 1920 and eventually settled in Jerusalem.

In 1944, Netanyahu married Tzila Segal and the couple had three sons: Yonatan, born in 1946, a former commander of Sayeret Matkal, who was killed in 1976 during Operation Entebbe; Benjamin, born 1949 and Ido, born 1952, a physician, author and playwright.

When marking his father's 100th birthday, Netanyahu said that "It was my father who taught me that those who are unfamiliar with the past cannot understand the present and those who cannot understand present cannot see what lies ahead."


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