Benzion Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion, died earlier today at 102. He was the hardest of the hard -- a man for whom compromise was anathema -- but he was all too often tragically correct about the nature of what he called "Jew hatred" (the term "anti-Semitism" wasn't for him; it was coined by anti-Semites to give a civilized gloss to anti-Jewish prejudice). His masterwork, "The Origins of the Inquisition in 15th Century Spain," posited racial, rather than religious, motivations for anti-Jewish persecution, and for the elder Netanyahu, race-based Jew-hatred was an immortal phenomenon. He was profoundly influential on his son (and all of his sons, as those who have read the collected letters of Yoni Netanyahu, his oldest son, who died at Entebbe, surely know):  Many people who watch the prime minister believe that his father's passing will allow him to take steps toward compromise he wouldn't have made so long as his father was living nearby. There's something to this, of course, but I'm not sure how much. I'll explore some of these questions later.     

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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