The Israeli writer, historian and political scientist Meron Benvenisti, who has died aged 86 after a long illness, focused on his country’s existential – and still unresolved – conflict with the Palestinians. The phrase “thought-provoking” could have been invented for him.
Benvenisti was a son of Israel’s elite but spent much of his life as a Cassandra – a prophet whose warnings were not believed. He was a physically large man with a loud voice and personality to match. He will be most remembered for his argument, from the mid-1980s, that Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, which began in the wake of Israel’s victory in 1967, was irreversible.