Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah visit the National Library in London where they see the original Balfur Statement and one of Netanyahu’s father’s books, during their visit to England, on September 10, 2015.Photo of the Day
Posts Tagged ‘Benzion Netanyahu’
I am [at] peace, but when I speak, they [come] to war – Psalms 120:7).
A new video of an Arab event in the Old City that was in celebration of a new groom shows the overwhelming presence of political aspirations, with flags of both the Hamas terrorist organization and the Palestinian Authority.
If foreign media were to take off their blinders, they could understand better, if they wanted to, the essential differences between the intentions of Jews and Muslims at the Old City and on the Temple Mount.
We have no idea of what the Arabs were chanting in their flag-waving celebrations, but it is a safe assumption they were not reciting Psalms.
Up to several thousand Jews march in the same place every month, except when the police decide it might offend Arabs. They also wave flags, those depicting the Holy Temple. Two of them were destroyed centuries ago, but the Palestinian Authority likes to claim they never existed.
The monthly rallies are centered on the recital of several Psalms, which brings to mind the obvious one when comparing the Muslim and Jewish marches.
Psalms 120:67 states:
I am [at] peace, but when I speak, they [come] to [wage] war.
The literal translation is “I am peace, but when I speak, they are war,” and the words “at or “for” are necessarily inserted in the first part of the verse and “come” in the second part.
Every translation of any text is prone to interpretation, and when it comes to Israel, the interpretations come with a mindset.
The international community does not consider Israel for peace, and it likes to believe that the Arab world wants peace.
The most recent evidence comes from the newest batch of “pro-Israel” Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails.
She and her close confidantes pre-judge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a man against peace. The Palestinian Authority is assumed to be a friend of peace, despite Psalms 120:7, Palestinian Authority incitement and terror, and Mahmoud Abbas’ spitting in the face of the Obama administration by openly destroying the basis of the Oslo Accords and rejecting a diplomatic solution.
The e-mails to Clinton’s private e-mail server, even though some of the information was classified, are chock full of anti-Netanyahu observations from people such as Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel. He wrote Clinton about Netanyahu:
At heart, he seems to lack a generosity of spirit. This combines with his legendary fear of being seen as a ‘freier’ [sucker] in front of his people to create a real problem in the negotiations, especially because he holds most of the cards.
Another source of the e-mails is Sid Blumenthal, whom Clinton seems to have made a de facto adviser when she was Secretary of State even though the White House rejected her attempt to bring him on board in an official capacity.
Clinton insists his e-mails were “unsolicited” but one of her e-mails to him states, “Keep ’em coming,” and another beseeches him to advise her before she was to speak to AIPAC.
She liked what she read because it was nasty towards Netanyahu, and keep in mind that if Clinton is the next president of the United States, Blumenthal will be on her team.
[Netanyahu’s] father, Benzion Netanyahu; 100 years old, secretary to Jabotinsky, and denounced as too radical by Begin, adored his son Yoni, heroically killed at Entebbe. Benyamin has never measured up. Benzion has constantly criticized him in public for his deviations from the doctrine of Greater Israel.
Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother. See Benzion’s most recent scathing undermining of his son Bibi and Bibi’s tearful tribute to his brother just last month.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
The writer Jeffrey Goldberg is a very smart guy. And unlike many who write about Israel, he knows something about it, having lived there and served in the IDF. He has interviewed many of the major players, and he is not a polemicist of the Left or the Right. His insights are often fresh and, er, insightful.
So I am always surprised when Goldberg misses the mark. And the way he missed it in an article published this Monday is illustrative of a misconception he shares with many American Jews.
Discussing the influence of Benzion Netanyahu on his son the Prime Minister, explains that the PM’s historian father was convinced of the “eternal nature of anti-Semitism.” Goldberg explains,
Benzion Netanyahu was a foremost scholar of the Spanish Inquisition, and he revolutionized his field by arguing convincingly that the Spanish weren’t motivated by religious feeling, but by racial hatred. In other words, conversion wasn’t enough to save the Jews: The Spanish hated the idea of Jewish blood mixing with their own. The Inquisition, then, presaged the Holocaust. He believed that physical acts of anti-Semitism are always preceded by years of hate-filled rhetoric meant to desensitize the world to the coming slaughter.
He was not the only scholar of extreme expressions of anti-Semitism like the Inquisition or the Holocaust to come to the same conclusions about the importance of radical anti-Semitic ideologies in shaping events. For example, Lucy Dawidowicz, in her well-known book The War Against the Jews, makes the case that Hitler’s obsession with ‘the Jewish Question’ interfered with his prosecution of the war (often to the great irritation of his generals).
Goldberg tells us that Benzion Netanyahu’s response to the threats faced by Israel today reflected this point of view:
Thus Netanyahu, like his son, saw it as a foregone conclusion that Iran seeks to build a nuclear weapon with genocide in mind. But unlike his son, Netanyahu thought that Iran should have been attacked long ago. “From the Iranian side, we hear pledges that soon — in a matter of days, even — the Zionist movement will be put to an end and there will be no more Zionists in the world,” he said at a party marking his 100th birthday. “The Jewish people are making their position clear and putting faith in their military power…”
The elder Netanyahu was similarly militant on questions of compromise with the Palestinians. Just as he saw the Iranians bent on committing genocide, he saw the Palestinians and their Arab allies singularly focused on the destruction of Israel…
Indeed, there are many parallels between the behavior of the Iranian regime and the PLO and Hamas — including massive incitement to hatred (see, for example, here), and the irrational subordination of other goals to opposition to Jews and ‘Zionists’ — and earlier manifestations of genocidal anti-Semitism.
So far, so good. But then Goldberg continues:
But there is an opportunity: Benjamin Netanyahu, precisely because he is the son of a man like Benzion, is the only Israeli politician today who could deliver the majority of Israel’s Jewish population to a painful compromise with the Palestinians. He is also one of the few whose endorsement of a deal between Tehran and Washington over the Iranian nuclear program — a deal that would allow the Iranians to have a supervised civilian program, for instance — would allay the concerns of even more hawkish Israelis. The average Israeli trusts that Netanyahu would not sell out their interests for a Nobel Peace Prize.
An opportunity? To repudiate the message of history by placing the state of Israel into the hands of the true heirs of the Nazis, the PLO? To commit national suicide by empowering the Iranian regime, which makes absolutely no secret of its intentions?
Israelis are not just paranoid. Their fears are not irrational. Someone really is after them.
There is a reason that “the average Israeli” elected the son of Benzion Netanyahu, a man who shares his father’s values — because they too share his view of history. This is precisely why they believe that he would not sell out their interests.
The idea is not to “deliver” the Jewish population or to “allay the fears” of the ‘hawks’, as Goldberg suggests. It is not to force Israelis to buy the wishful (or cynical) thinking pushed by the Obama administration, despite their well-grounded misgivings. Rather, it is to actually ensure the survival of the state and the Jewish people.
Most American Jews, apparently including Goldberg, living in a place and time — unprecedented in history, by the way — that anti-Semitism is not a fact of daily life, have more or less forgotten the evil certain individuals and groups intend them. This isn’t the case in Israel, where they are reminded daily by Arab terrorism and Iranian threats. And where they voted for Bibi Netanyahu.
Shortly after the passing of Benzion Netanyahu, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney sent his condolences to the late professor’s son, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Romney and Netanyahu have been on friendly terms for years. “This is a loss for all of Israel and for all who care about Israel,” Romney said about the elder Netanyahu’s passing in a tweet.
That aside, the Jewish Blogosphere is exploding with messages about the fact that US President Barack Obama has supposedly not yet conveyed his own condolences to the prime minister.
As strange as that may seem, when The Jewish Press staff searched the White House website, they could not find the text of the presidents’ words of comfort to Netanyahu, nor has a lengthy Google search yielded any such document.
A sleepy White House switchboard operator told us we should call after the start of the work day in DC.
A call to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office yielded a firm statement that it is “very much against protocol to make public this kind of personal exchanges between heads of state”.
Last year, President Obama sent condolences to Israeli President Shimon Peres over the loss of his wife, as well as to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the death of his mother last year
We have no doubt that the president has indeed conveyed his sorrow over Netanyahu’s loss, we’d just like to read it.
Update: The White House announced that the President called Netanyahu on Wednesday to convey his condolences. The readout is as follows:
Jewish Press Staff
President Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel today from Air Force One to express his personal condolences on the death of his father, Benzion Netanyahu. In the call the President noted Benzion Netanyahu’s remarkable legacy of service to the Jewish people and deep friendship with the United States.
I had already twice hosted Benjamin Netanyahu – at the time Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister – at the University of Oxford before I extended my first invitation to his scholarly father to lecture in turn. The elderly Netanyahu had recently published his internationally-celebrated opus Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain, and I was fascinated by his theory of anti-Semitism extending not to the beginnings of Christianity but five hundred years before the birth of Jesus. I was likewise taken by the monumental sweep of his Spanish Inquisition narrative, a subject that had long fascinated me, and wanted him to address the subject with our students. Finally, I wanted to meet the man whose fierce Jewish patriotism had raised two of Israel’s greatest sons, Yoni Netanyahu, the brave commando who fell leading Israel’s Entebbe rescue operation, and Benjamin, who, by the time we hosted his father was serving as Israel’s Prime Minister.
Professor Netanyahu, accompanied by his son Ido – whose caring for, and patience with, his father I shall never forget – would eventually lecture for all three of our L’Chaim Society branches, in Oxford, Cambridge, and London, with large student groups attending each. The lectures demonstrated the encyclopaedic scope of his scholarship and, at about 90 minutes each, his ferocious mental stamina and laser-like focus, though he was greatly advanced in years.
What I enjoyed the most was the down time we spent together, with long drives between the cities he was to speak at and then sitting at his London hotel together. Here was a Jewish nationalist of phenomenal determination. Zionism was in his DNA and I have rarely met a more passionate Jewish patriot or a prouder Jew. He had a sweeping view of history and could clearly argue the precarious state of the Jewish people throughout time. He believed in the totality of the Land of Israel and that the Jewish State dare not make territorial concessions that would undermine its security and history.
As providence would have it, I was actually with him Friday afternoon, October 23, 1998, at his London hotel when his son, the Prime Minister of Israel, signed the Wye River Memorandum that committed Israel to withdraw from territory it was required to transfer to the Palestinian Authority. The agreement was all over the news and we watched part of it on TV. Professor Netanyahu seemed deeply agitated, severely criticizing the Herculean and unfair pressure being brought to bear by the international community on Israel, in general, and on his son in particular, to relinquish land. One could see a deep connection between father and son and he spoke lovingly of the unimaginable responsibilities his son faced.
After his visit to Oxford, I began visiting him at his modest home in Jerusalem on my trips to Israel a few times a year. He welcomed me warmly and humbly each and every time. Although greatly advanced in years, he would give me hours of his time. We spoke of history, Jewish identity, modern politics, and human relationships. He asked detailed questions about the welfare of our students back in the United Kingdom and the state of my activities.
I remember once summoning the courage to ask him about the loss of his son Yoni, arguably Israel’s greatest war hero. He responded quietly about the sacrifices all Israeli families had to make for the country to endure. He never boasted about his son’s military glory and spoke of him as he were a common soldier. It goes without saying that he rarely discussed his middle son’s achievement as Premiere of his country and on the occasions when the Prime Minister interrupted our conversations by calling his father, he never told me it was Bibi on the line. I only knew because he mentioned his son’s name while speaking to him. Indeed, at his UK lectures some in the audience praised him as the father of the Israel’s Prime Minister. He quietly thanked them and changed the subject. He was there to discuss the Spanish Inquisition and scholarship.
Professor Benzion Netanyahu was a man of rare humility, scholarship, patriotism, and sacrifice. His commitment to the State of Israel and the Jewish community will long serve as an inspiration and blessing to people everywhere. And there can be no question that the iron-clad commitment toward the Jewish people’s security shown by Bibi, especially with regard to the current nuclear threat posed by Iran, was inculcated in a son who deeply loved, admired, and respected his learned father.Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his son Yair, at the funeral of the Prime Minister’s father, Benzion Netanyahu, in Jerusalem on April 30, 2012. Benzion Netanyahu died at the age of 102, early Monday morning, in his home in Jerusalem.Jewish Press Staff Reporter
Professor Benzion Netanyahu will be laid to rest at 5pm on Monday at the Har HaMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul neighborhood.
The former aide to Ze’ev Jabotinsky, father of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Operation Entebbe hero Yoni Netanyahu, was 102. For more about Professor Benzion, click here.
Jewish Press Staff