Iddo Netanyahu is a highly intelligent, unassuming radiologist whose greatest achievement may be that he has crafted a prosaic existence out of circumstances that might have impelled a less imaginative man to reach for greatness. Like his oldest brother, Jonathan, a leader of the Israeli commando raid on Entebbe, and his next-oldest brother, Benjamin, Israel’s current prime minister, the youngest Netanyahu brother went to an elite American university (Yoni went to Harvard, Bibi went to MIT, and Iddo went to Cornell) before returning to Israel to serve in the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal commando unit. He attended medical school at Hebrew University and then did post-doctoral work at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington and Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York in radiology, which is a branch of medicine that often saves lives and is also notably removed from the agony of patients and their families.
A Happy End takes place in Berlin in the 1930s after Hitler’s rise to power. The subject is the agonizing dilemma facing a well-established Jewish family whether or not to leave.
This is the conclusion of David Samuel’s review which appears in the current issue of Tablet Magazine:
A lot has been written here about the feelings of estrangement and disappointment that some American Jews feel when they look at Israel, and what Israel has become. Great sorrow and other such feelings are often expressed. What do you feel when you listen to the American Jewish conversation about Israel?
Each person has a right to think what he feels, and to express his or her own thoughts.
When American audiences watch your play, might they think that it is a play about them?
I have no idea. I think it’s about any person who watches the play, whether that person is a Muslim in Uzbekistan or an Italian in Italy. A play is a play, art is art, and you write about what you know, and hopefully it has some kind of relevance to other people. So, hopefully it will have relevance here, too.