Benzion Netanyahu– historian of Medieval Spanish Jewry, father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and of Yonatan Netanyahu, an Israeli commando killed in the 1976 raid on Entebbe– has died at the age of 102.
He had a rather surprising admirer, as Jeffrey Goldberg reported in 2010 after a visit to Havana:
[Fidel Castro]… expressed great admiration for Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion, the world’s foremost historian of the Spanish Inquisition, and a hardline Likudnik, who is today 100 years old but still arguing for his beliefs… Fidel expressed a desire to talk to Ben-Zion Netanyahu, saying that he was “impressed by his character, his knowledge and his history.”
Can you imagine: A summit meeting between the 100-year-old Ben-Zion Netanyahu and the 84-year-old Fidel Castro? That would be a meeting to remember. Talk about a nightmare for the Eradicate-Israel coalition! I don’t necessarily think the two men would agree on much, but Fidel Castro has surprised us lately. Maybe Ben-Zion Netanyahu would surprise us as well.
It’s rather disappointing that such a meeting will never take place.