Tender moment: Benzion Netanyahu and son.
Tender moment: Benzion Netanyahu and son. Israel news photo: Flash 90

Public figures from both sides of the political spectrum eulogized Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, the prime minister's father, after he passed away on Monday.

Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin, said, "I have known Benzion Netanyahu ever since my young adulthood. This is a man who tied his life to Jerusalem and Zionism, who was an assistant to Ze'ev Jabotinsky and was one of the great Revisionists.

"Benzion was an eminent researcher and historian who founded a house of pure political Zionism, without compromises, and his offspring have imbibed his observations and his world view. In his life story, Benzion Netanyahu represents a chapter in the annals of Zionism and Jewish history.

"With Benzion there was no place for compromise, and for that reason he sometimes showed displeasure with needs that his son had as a politician, both in the United Nations and as a person who was elected to serve as the Prime Minister of Israel."

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Monday that "besides his manifestly Zionist outlook, Prof. Netanyahu was also gifted with a sober view of the dangers and threats that face our nation. Prof. Netanyahu raised three sons who were all fighters on the battlefield, and he passed on to them the deep commitment to sacrifice for their nation and their country."

The Chairman of the Jewish Leadership faction in Likud, Moshe Feiglin, offered his condolences to the prime minister and his family. "It was with great sorrow that I heard about the passing of the man of knowledge and action, who during his entire life remained faithful and committed to the Jewish people and the Zionist idea."

National Union MK Uri Ariel called Benzion Netanyahu "a man of education and values, a man of learning and one of Israel's greatest historians in the recent generations, who unceasingly educated people to love the Nation of Israel and the Land of Israel."

Labor Chairwoman MK Shelly Yechimovich wrote the prime minister a letter of condolence, telling him that his father was "a unique and special father, a great historian, ideologue and intellectual who placed a deep stamp on Israeli society and its legacy."

President Shimon Peres called Benzion Netanyahu "a great historian and a great Jew." He spoke at the laying of a cornerstone for the IAF's technical school in Carmiel, and at his request, the participants held a minute of silence for Prof. Netanyahu.