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Benzion Netanyahu, 1910-2012

9:56 AM, Apr 30, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The father of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the historian and Zionist Benzion Netanyahu, died this morning. He was 102 years old.

"Benzion Netanyahu, who died Monday, was a renowned scholar who both wrote history and influenced it in a lifetime that spanned a century," the Times of Israel reports. "Netanyahu, 102, was a historian who authored several important works on the Spanish Inquisition, challenging the accepted views about that vital chapter of Jewish history."

The New York Times adds:

His death was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Mr. Netanyahu was at various times a journalist, an encyclopedia editor, a professor, a historian and a lobbyist — not to mention a behind-the-scenes adviser to his son, the most powerful person in Israel. Throughout, his views were relentlessly hawkish: he argued that Jews inevitably faced discrimination that was racial and not religious, and that efforts to compromise with Arabs were futile.

In the 1940s, as the executive director of the New Zionist Organization in the United States, he met with influential policymakers like General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dean Acheson.       

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