04 March 2015

Netanyahu's Purim Plan for Peace

The king granted the Jews ... to slay and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. Esther 8:11
Benjamin Netanyahu likes the book of Esther.

Two years ago, he gave President Obama a copy as a Purim gift. And in yesterday's Purim speech to Congress he used the Esther story as a model for the proper response to the Iranian nuclear threat.

Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we'll read the Book of Esther. We'll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.

But he left out the details about how the Jewish people were supposedly saved. According the story in the book of Esther, the Jews killed 75,000 Persians in a preemptive strike because the some of the Persians hated Jews and planned to kill them.
Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same [Purim], when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;) The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people. ... Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them. Esther 9:1-5
President Obama didn't attend Bibi's speech. But he read the transcript and said that it didn't offer any new alternatives.

And the he's right about that. There was nothing new in the speech. Just the old alternative from the Book of Esther: to "smite all their enemies with the stroke of the sword" and to do "what they would unto those that hated them."

That is Netanyahu's Purim Plan for peace.


Kestrel said...

Interesting points. I also cringed when Bibi referenced Esther, but I don't think it was fully representative of what he was advocating.

The trouble here is, there aren't any good options. The Israelis know that sanctions and political maneuvering won't stall the inevitable nuclear armament of Iran. To them, that's totally unacceptable and would completely jeopardize their security.

Honestly, I don't know what side to stand with here, but I do think if we keep doing what we've been doing, we can expect a nuclear armed Iran in the near future.

Steve Wells said...

I agree with you, kestrel. I think Netanyahu is right about Iran. They are probably even more dangerous than the Islamic State.

As Bibi said in his speech:

"Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.

So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.

The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs."

I wish President Obama sounded more like that!