President Herzog memorializes his father

On Thursday, the president will again recall his father at the annual memorial for deceased presidents and prime ministers.

 Herzog stands beside the statue of his father, Chaim Herzog, in the gardens of Beit Hanassi.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Herzog stands beside the statue of his father, Chaim Herzog, in the gardens of Beit Hanassi.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The proud son of a multi-disciplined father, President Isaac Herzog frequently mentions his father in relation to historic events or to his father's achievements as a diplomat, an athlete, a senior military officer or an author.  In recent weeks, he has had more occasion than usual to honor his father's memory.

In early April, he eulogized his father in a state ceremony on the 25th anniversary of the death of Chaim Herzog who was Israel's sixth president.

This week, Herzog was in Elkana on the West Bank for the dedication of a school building for girls that will carry his father's name in perpetuity.

On Thursday, the president will again recall his father at the annual memorial for deceased presidents and prime ministers in the course of which prizes are awarded for essays and books pertaining to the life or a specific chapter in the life of a deceased president and prime minister.  

A different president and prime minister are honored each year.  This year, the tributes are for Chaim Herzog and Menachem Begin with the participation of the current president and prime minister Isaac Herzog and Naftali Bennett.

Michael and Isaac Herzog look at a photo of his father, Israel’s sixth president Chaim Herzog, indulging in his favorite sport – sailing. (credit: FACEBOOK)Michael and Isaac Herzog look at a photo of his father, Israel’s sixth president Chaim Herzog, indulging in his favorite sport – sailing. (credit: FACEBOOK)

Reminders of the president's father will not end there.  In November, especially taking into account recent political developments and allegations, some Israeli media will undoubtedly look back in history to November 10, 1975 when Chaim Herzog as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations famously emulated his own father and tore up the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism declaring that it was nothing more than a piece of paper, and he would treat it as such.

In 1939, Rabbi Yitzhak Halevi Herzog, who was Chief Rabbi of British Mandate Palestine, led a protest parade through Jerusalem to the Hurva synagogue, and standing on the steps, publicly tore up the British White Paper restricting Jewish migration to the Land of Israel, saying that it was unacceptable..

It's unlikely that President Isaac Herzog will follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in this respect, but with facts on the ground changing so rapidly, one never knows.