Ido Netnayahu, brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as a successful medical doctor, writer and play-writer, had his 2013 play 'Worlds in Collision' placed in the Russian Ministry of Culture's digital platform to be viewed for free during the coronavirus outbreak.
The play is about an eccentric Russian-Jewish scientist by the name of Immanuel Velikovsky and was staged by Uzbekistan's State Theater in 2015 by director Nabi Abdurahmanov. In the book, from which the play borrows its name, Velikovsky claims that biblical events can be explained by astronomical occurrences. The play takes a factual meeting between Albert Einstein and Velikovsky to present the clash of views between the two brilliant men. Much like Michael Frayn’s 1998 play Copenhagen presents the meeting of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, which is factual, to expand on the greater themes of science and personal choices.
Far from being a crank, Velikovsky was a much-admired psychologist and played an important role in the creation of the Hebrew University. It was his conviction he had found a rational method to explain what seems to be miraculous events described in the bible via scientific means that led to him becoming a successful author, yet shunned by the academic community which claimed his books are just pseudoscience.
Most serious scholars today believe the bible is an inspired text with many footholds in actual events, but not a field guide to history as modern people understand it. Still, various writers, from Velikovsky to Erich von Daniken, sought to explain events described in the bible in scientific ways. Daniken, in his 1968 book Chariots of the Gods? Suggested the bible described alien to human encounters.
Netanyahu expressed his happiness that the Russian audience enjoyed his play, which got more than 240,000 views online, and now hopes that a Hebrew production might follow soon, Yisrael Hayom reported.
Other plays by Netanyahu include Happy End, which described a Jewish family in Berlin during the Nazis gaining power, and Meaning, about psychotherapist Viktor Emil Frankl.