Sunday, April 05, 2009

Bibi's Father Speaks Up


Over the weekend the Israeli daily Maariv published an eight page interview with professor Ben Zion Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu’s 99 year old father. Netanyahu often refers to his father as the person who inspired him the most. When he resigned from the Sharon's government in 2005, just before the disengagement from Gaza, Netanyahu mentioned his father as one of the reasons for his move (Prof. Netanyahu opposed the disengagement plan). “From you I’ve learned, father,” said Netanyahu that day.

The elder Netanyahu is a scion of the Revisionist Zionist Movement. He was once secretary to its idolized and mythologized founder Ze'ev Jabotisnky. This interview is very interesting. Ben Zion says what Bibi probably thinks inside (on most subjects at least) but is too smart to say out loud. He also tells us that Bibi was not a successful PM in his first term (but he believes he has learned lessons and might be more successful now), and that he very much misses Bibi's (more talented?) brother Yoni, who was killed in the Israeli raid on Entebbe in 1976.

In any case, this interview gives insights into where the Israeli PM is coming from, both ideologically and personally. Highly recommended.

Original Hebrew teaser.

English excerpt Part 1.

English excerpt Part 2.

English excerpt Part 3.

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