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Archive for April, 2012

Benzion Netanyahu (1910-2012), Father of Bibi, dies at 102

April 30th, 2012 Comments off

Those who know Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu have long said that by far the greatest influence on his life was his father, Benzion Netanyahu. A corollary to that statement that is sometimes heard is the assertion that the younger Netanyahu might be more amenable to political compromise if not for the fact that he would not do anything his father disapproved of while the elder Netanyahu was alive. Whether that is true is unclear and has been untestable until now.

Benzion Netanyahu died today at the venerable age of 102.  He died early in the day and was buried in Jerusalem in the afternoon in conformity with Jewish tradition. The Prime Minister gave the eulogy.

The elder Netanyahu was a well-known historian who spent much of his career at Cornell University. Born Benzion Mileikowsky in Warsaw in 1910,he took the name Netanyahu with his parents on going to Palestine in 1920. Benzion went to the United States in 1940 to work with Revisionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky, and after the death of Jabotinsky reresented the New Zionist (Revisionist) movement in the United States.

He took a Ph.D. in the US and during his academic career, culminating at Cornell, he edited encyclopedias in both Hebrew and English. His enormous historical masterwork, The Origins of the Inquisition in 15th Century Spain, was published in 1995. It reflects his lifelong preoccupation with persecution of the Jewish people.

Obituaries and appreciations by The New York Times here; Haaretz here (and the father’s influence on the son here), and The Jerusalem Post here.

I plan to comment on the growing criticism of Bibi Netanyahu’s Iran policies from military, security and political figures in Israel shortly, but this news took precedence.


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Egypt’s Islamists denounces protests against Saudi Arabia

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Beirut cooperating with Damascus over Libyan arms shipment to Syrian insurgents

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Wall to wall to wall …….

April 30th, 2012 Comments off

“(Reuters) … An Israeli security fence already runs along the entire border but the military said defenses had to be bolstered with a 5-7 meter-(16-23 feet) high cement wall between the Israeli town of Metulla and the Lebanese village of Kila.“(The wall is) intended to prevent firing from the Lebanese side into the Israeli side. In the past year and a half there have been a number of incidents,” Colonel Amit Fisher, a senior commander on the border, told Israel Radio….Israel is also building a security fence in its south, along the border with Egypt’s Sinai desert, citing concerns over militant activity and smuggling. An Israeli barrier also twists through the occupied West Bank.



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Indonesia seeks UAE investments

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The Indonesian government has urged the UAE companies to tap opportunities in that country.
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Omani man donates blood for 26 years

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A 49-year-old man from Oman has been honoured by the ministry of health of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for donating blood for 26 years.
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Bahrain activist retrial rejected

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The family of leading Bahraini opposition activist Abdulhadi al-khawaja denounce the decision to retry him and 20 other activists.
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Israeli defense minister talks tough on Iran

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Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivers a speech to the Foreign Press Association members in Jerusalem, Monday, April 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)Israel’s defense minister warned Monday that as long as Iran poses a threat to Israel with its nuclear program, all options are on the table, a reference to a possible Israeli attack.

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18 Qaeda militants killed in Yemen fighting

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Fierce clashes killed at least 21 people, including 18 Al-Qaeda militants, on Monday near the southern Yemeni town of Loder, which Al-Qaeda is trying to capture, a local official said.
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Yemen UN envoy asks ex-president to stop meddling

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The U.N. envoy to Yemen met Monday with the country’s ex-president to press him to stop meddling in the country’s affairs, diplomats said, a sign of continuing political instability that has emboldened al-Qaida.
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