People have said many things over the years about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – but no one has ever said that he is of Sephardic origin.
No one except for Netanyahu himself. The Prime Minister made the revelation at the opening of the new Tel Aviv branch of the Diaspora Museum, an institution which records and exhibits the history of Jewish communities throughout the world over the last 2,000 years. Speaking at the event, Netanyahu dropped his “ethic bombshell,” telling stunned listeners that his brother Ido had done a DNA test – and discovered incontrovertible evidence that the Netanyahus are descended, at least in part, from a Spanish Jewish family.
Ido, said Netanyahu, is a doctor and author, and he was approached by several researchers looking for a connection between Jewish communities in Spain and Lithuania. The Netanyahus are descended from the latter – but apparently, according to the DNA test, have a strong, even dominant, Sephardic ethnic component.
“I am getting this news a little late to take advantage of it for political purposes,” Netanyahu said tongue-in-cheek. “But what it says to me is that all Jews are one family, and that is one of the lessons we learn from this museum.”