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Benzion Netanyahu, Historian Father of Prime Minister, Dies in Jerusalem at 102

Benzion Netanyahu, an historian and former leader of the Revisionist Zionist movement during the creation of the modern state of Israel, died at his Jerusalem home at the age of 102 on Monday. He is the father of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The senior Netanyahu’s bona fides in history – he specialized in Medieval Spanish Jewry — include the status of professor emeritus at Cornell University and editor of the prestigious Encyclopedia Hebraica. During the state’s formative years, he served as secretary to Zev Jabotinsky, considered the father of Revisionist Zionism and still an iconic figure to Israelis with conservative political views. [Editor’s note: “Revisionist” Zionism stood in contrast to and preached the “revision” David Ben Gurion’s “Practical Zionism.” It is the founding ideology of the non-religious political right wing, the counter-point of Labor Zionism.]