… the passing of Benzion Netanyahu, scholar, Zionist leader, and father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was 102.He saw a lot. He was termed a right wing nutjob and loathed by the bourgeois white liberal Israeli establishment. The problem he posed for the Gideon Levy’s of the world was that he was right more often than not. In fact, in the broad sweep of analysis, he was spot on target. He had some hard, unflinching views, but the better safe than sorry, or the more Jewish be prepared for the worst has worn well over the years. Remember he followed Jabotinsky whose slogans included, “better to have a gun and not need it than to need it and not have it!” and, “Jewish youth, learn to shoot!”
…The idea of religious Zionism and even political zionism as a Jewish convention is fraught with contradictions. The Torah and Zionism of the political variety are constitutionally incompatible. That Benzion’s father was preaching political Zionism seems a particularly tormented endeavor. But without that link to religion, Jabotinsky’s creed, Zionist revisionism becomes another secular ideology that can easily lose its way down some murky trails sucking in the vapors of a Heidegger or Hannah Arendt.
Unsurprising considering his age, Benzion Netanyahu was around for the rebirth of the Jewish state, and played a leading role in that miraculous episode.Benzion Netanyahu was born in Warsaw, Poland. He moved with his family to the Land of Israel (then under British Mandate rule) in 1920. He worked for years as the personal aide of Zeev Jabotinsky, a leader in the Zionist movement and founder of Revisionist Zionism.
Revisionist Zionism, to which Benzion Netanyahu dedicated his life, was and remains at odds with the more dominant Labor Zionism in that it views the establishment (and now the strengthening) of a Jewish state as its primary goal. Revisionist Zionism originally demanded that the Jews be given sovereignty over all the territories once ruled by their biblical forefathers, including territories that are today part of neighboring Jordan….
At the social level, Revisionist Zionism was and still is more focused on strengthening the middle class as a means of boosting the entire economy, a concept that is today the cornerstone of capitalism. By contrast, Labor Zionism is more socialist and welfare-minded in its economic orientation.Revisionist Zionism is the founding ideology of Israel’s Likud Party, and both Jabotinsky and Benzion Netanyahu are seen as the “fathers” of Knesset faction that Benjamin Netanyahu today leads.Read More:http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/23205/language/en-US/Default.aspx
Benzion’s theories, called revisionist, but actually a splitting off from convention that presented alternative reality, one which actually seems closer to the truth; Jewish history a history of holocausts, and Hitler’s actions only the most notorious due to the degree of scale, and that Jewish people constitute a remnant of a remnant. His seemingly most controversial call, that Spanish jews willingly converted, even enthusiastically to Catholicism seems comically to absurd to have been otherwise. But he failed to see that Jews in Zionism were willingly converting to Zionism from Judaic tradition, again trying to normalize themselves and committing the identical gaffe.
But, he was dead on in seeing the Spanish as being motivated not by religion but by racial hatred; conversion was not enough to sway the dominant theme that the yid’s blood was contaminating the gene pool by mixing with their own. In other words, Catholicism was just a pretext for ethnic cleansing. His other great insight was sociological: his exposure of the phenomenon of the exclusion of the Revisionists from the Israeli establishment including his own struggles to gain an academic post, part of a larger context of intra-Israel and Jewish racism that continues to plague the country today; the revisionists are not the “cool” types of Tel-Aviv but in the heartland and out in the settlements both legal and illegal. Jabotinsky, who founded the movement, was a brilliant man, his own version of the One-State Solution, and his overall understanding more complex and pragmatic, and his interest in a viable and democratic jewish middle-class far more earnest and convicted than the Left paints the portrait…
Mr. Netanyahu believed that Jews remain endangered in the Middle East. A “vast majority of Israeli Arabs would choose to exterminate us if they had the option to do so,” he said in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Maariv in 2009. Arabs, he said, are “an enemy by essence” who cannot compromise and will respond only to force. …
…“The Jews didn’t survive,” he would say. About 1,900 years ago, he would explain, there were about 9 million Jews in a world population of roughly 300 million. Today, there are about 13 million Jews in a world of 7 billion. How is it that the number of Jews has stayed essentially stagnant, even as global population has grown exponentially? …
…Persecution, he explained, has driven the Jews nearly to extinction. So many murdered, so many forcibly converted to Christianity and Islam, so many choosing the dubious path of assimilation as a defense against hatred and isolation. The Jews of today, he said, are a remnant of a remnant. It wasn’t merely the German Holocaust, but a “history of holocausts,” that brought the Jewish people to such a debased position. Read More:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-30/benzion-netanyahu-left-his-son-the-gift-of-credibility.html