Benzion Netanyahu, father of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, died early Monday at the age of 102 and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted that Benzion Netanyahu “remembered for his great influence on the worldview of his son, Benjamin.”Specifically, Benzion pushed Benjamin toward a hard-line stance toward Iran.
One of Benjamin’s friends told The Atlantic in 2010: “Always in the back of Bibi’s mind is Ben-Zion. He worries that his father will think he is weak.”
The prime minister also cited his father in televised comments two years ago about the impossibility of compromise:
“We are very simply in danger of extermination today. Not just existential danger, but truly in danger of extermination. They think the extermination, the Holocaust, is over, it isn’t, it goes on all the time…
“I have always said that a necessary condition for the existence of any living body, and for a nation, is the ability to identify a danger in time, a characteristic which our nation lost in the Diaspora. You taught me, Father, how to correctly view reality, how to understand what it contains within it and draw the necessary conclusions… The same foresight led Father to say dozens of years ago that the threat to world peace would emerge from the same parts of the Muslim world where oil, terrorism and nuclear go together.”
Does Benzion’s death change the equation? Don’t be surprised if the father’s voice becomes even stronger in death.
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