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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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In Israel, the Prime Minister is Just Another ‘Bereaved Brother’

Prime Minister and Sara Netanyahu on Yom HaZikaron at the grave of Yoni Netanyahu, killed in the 1976 Entebbe raid.

Prime Minister and Sara Netanyahu on Yom HaZikaron at the grave of Yoni Netanyahu, killed in the 1976 Entebbe raid.
Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90

It doesn’t matter how rich, famous, intelligent, educated, good-looking, successful or ordinary one is. Death will strike us eventually. And part of the “Israeli experience” is that there are wars, terrorism (against soldiers and civilians,) deadly enemies and even accidents of all sorts that happen to those serving in the IDF Israeli Defense Forces. Each of these victims leaves somebody or many to mourn them.


When Yom Zikaron, Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims comes around, our Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu becomes a mourner like too many others. His elder brother, Yoni, was killed in the heroic and legendary hostage rescue in Entebbe, 1976.

Now Bibi Netanyahu is a third-term Prime Minister of Israel, and that’s how we relate to him, whether we support his policies or disagree with the way he is running the State of Israel.


We shouldn’t forget that, and we can’t forget that Bibi, like too many others, lives in the shadow of a brother whose life was cut short.

One of the themes this year in the television memorial shows was how the weight of bereavement affects siblings, especially the younger siblings. And one of the channels promoted their special interview with the the two surviving Netanyahu brothers. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it.

We’re all the sum of our experience and decisions. And we should all include the genes we inherited. We are a combination of all these ingredients. Judaism stresses that we have free will. We aren’t fated to any end. We can take what we were given and make something great or set up tragedy and depression. Free will also gives us the ability to change. The only thing we can’t do is bring someone back to life.

The State of Israel was established in the shadow of the Holocaust, but not because of the Holocaust. All of the foundations had been laid by brave, idealistic Zionists, secular, traditional and all varieties of religious, yes, including chareidim. They began building neighborhoods, kibbutzim, moshavim, communities and cities decades before Hitler began his cruel and immoral career/ideology.

I don’t know how being a bereaved brother has influenced Binyamin Netanyahu’s policies. And I don’t know if being a bereaved brother has influenced Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to enter Israeli politics…

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.

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One Response to “In Israel, the Prime Minister is Just Another ‘Bereaved Brother’”

  1. His brother was a brave hero

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