PM´s father, Benzion Netanyahu, laid to rest in J´lem (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Omri Efraim Published: 04.30.12, 18:32)
YNet News - Yediot Achronot
YNet News - Yediot Achronot Articles-Index-Top
´You showed us true meaning of commitment to state, family,´ PM says
Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu´s father, Benzion Netanyahu, in Jerusalem´s Givat Shaul
cemetery Monday afternoon.
Prof. Netanyahu, who died earlier in the day at the age of 102, was a
renowned historian, specializing in the golden age of Jewish history
in Spain, and a professor emeritus at Cornell University.
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
Iddo, born 1952, a physician, author and playwright.
"You father, never hesitated to face the trials that had befallen the
Jewish nation and contribute to the nation´s defense. Two years ago,
when you turned 100, I had the privilege (…) of telling you, while
you were alive, how much I love you, how much I adore you. Dear
father, how can I describe all that you have given Yoni, Iddo and
me?" the prime minister said in his eulogy.
The PM said his father had shown him what commitment was, both to the
state and to family, and also contributed to the establishment of the
Jewish state. The PM mentioned that his father traveled to London to
persuade Jabotinsky to relocate to the United States and from there
mobilize support for the Jewish state.
"Jabotinsky died shortly after you arrived in the US, but you did not
lose hope and approached dozens of senators, congressman and American
leaders such as (Dwight D.) Eisenhower. You told them that the Jewish
state would be established and that it would not be defeated by the
Arabs," the PM said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu then addressed his late father,
saying: "Years before Herzl´s predictions were realized you
understood that he was right. When you were 27 you wrote that Herzl
saw the catastrophe and the looming destruction of the nation. You
wrote that a few years before the Second World War and the Holocaust.
Not only did you agree with Herzl over the dangers in store, you
worked to keep it at bay and contributed to the foundation of the
State of Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu also mentioned the hardships his parents faced
after his brother Yoni was killed in Entebbe. "Your foresight led
you, 35 years ago, after Yoni was killed, to focus an international
intellectual effort against global terror. You said that the thing
standing behind terror was policy and then terror could be
"Father, those attributes, of foresight, and others, I could not
understand as a little boy growing up in the 50s. Slowly, slowly,
things became clear to me and to Iddo as we grew older."
Netanyahu expressed the admiration he had for his parents and the way
they lived their lives after his brother´s death. "You carried, both
of you, your grief with grace. I don´t know where you found the
strength to go on living with your sorrow."
The prime minister then said: "Father, on this day that I say goodbye
to you, I wish to tell you the same words that Yoni wrote to you 46
years ago: I have never told you how proud I am that you are the
person you are and that I am your son."
President Shimon Peres said during the funeral: "We have lost a great
teacher who left behind a leader for his people."
Peres then turned to the prime minister and said: "Bibi, your father
wrote about history and you are making it with the same perception
and heritage. I know that your heart is broken but your spirit is
strong." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 04/30/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY