Netanyahu’s Gift to Pope: a History of the Inquisition

VATICAN CITY (AP/Hamodia) -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta during the official welcome ceremony in Rome, Italy, on Monday. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta during the official welcome ceremony in Rome, Italy, on Monday. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)

In his first meeting with Pope Francis, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave his host in the Vatican a book about the Inquisition in Spain  written by his late father.

Netanyahu presented a Spanish translation of the 1995 historical work to Francis during their 25-minute private audience Monday.

Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, who died last year, was an Israeli historian. A Zionist activist who opposed partitioning Palestine between Arabs and Jews, he was best known in academic circles for his research into the Catholic Church’s medieval persecution of the Jews of Spain.

The prime minister and the pope discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian civil war, the conditions of Christians living in Israel, and the pope’s expected visit there, probably in late May.

Later Monday, Netanyahu met with Italian Premier Enrico Letta, with whom he was to lobby for a tougher position on Iran.