Book of Esther Tells of Iran Threat, But Big Gap Remains
Benjamin Netanyahu’s gift to Barack Obama summed up his message at their White House meeting Monday.
The Israeli Prime Minister gave the President a copy of the Book of Esther, which tells the story of the Jews fighting back against a genocidal plot by the ancient Persians.
Netanyahu sees the nuclear threat posed by modern-day Iran as no less existential to Israel, and the leaders’ two-hour meeting did little to bridge their differences on how to respond to this.
In their face-to-face meeting, according to officials involved, Obama stressed the need to give diplomacy a chance. His position reflected the U.S. stance that the time frame for any possible military action would be many months away.
Netanyahu, who didn’t mention diplomacy, emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, reflecting a much shorter time line for acting militarily to eliminate the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
The U.S., according to a senior administration official, sees a time frame “more in the ballpark of a year than a month,” before Iran can acquire nuclear weapons; Israeli officials have spoken about a deadline of several months for stopping Iran.
Aides to Netanyahu said the Israeli leader provided Obama with a copy of the Book of Esther as a form of “background reading” on Iran.
The book, which is read during the holiday of Purim starting Wednesday, tells the story of an attempt in ancient Persia, the predecessor of modern day Iran, to kill off all the Jews within its empire. The plot was successfully overturned, ending in the mass killing of those who sought the demise of the Jewish people.
Israeli officials see this as a none-too-subtle hint of Netanyahu’s view of the broader situation. The Israeli prime minister believes that Iran’s ultimate goal is the destruction of the State of Israel and therefore sees special urgency in dealing with this threat.
read more at forward.com
- Happy Holiday! Purim (Feast of Lots) starts tomorrow Via Colorado (terri0729.wordpress.com)
- Netanyahu gives Obama the Book of Esther. Biblical parable for nuclear Iran? (csmonitor.com)
- Netanyahu’s Book of Esther gift for Obama a pointed reminder of Iran ‘annihilation’ threat (news.nationalpost.com)
OSLO: A total of 231 nominees are up for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, the Nobel Institute said Monday, with Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl, the EU and WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning known to be on the list.
“As always, there are the usual ‘nominees’ and some newcomers, some famous and some unknowns, hailing from the four corners of the world,” the head of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, told AFP.
With 188 individuals and 43 organizations, the number of candidates comes close to last year’s record of 241, when the prestigious award went to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni Arab Spring activist Tawakkol Karman.
The winner or winners will be announced in October.
The prize generates a media frenzy every year and occasionally sparks controversy – as in 2009 when U.S. President Barack Obama was honored just a few months after taking office.
School officials have pulled what some consider a pro-Obama poem from next week’s Black History Month program at Tipps Elementary.
(KTRH – Houston) — Cy-Fair school officials have pulled what some consider a pro-Obama poem from next week’s Black History Month program at Tipps Elementary. This after a parent complained it was too political for his daughter’s kindergarten class.
Along with the poem mailed home to parents was an internal memo which read:
“Attached is a chant about President Barack Obama. All Kindergarteners will be required to learn the chant for the Black History program.”
Parent Joseph Beaver tells KTRH News he doesn’t believe the poem provides any educational value to students.
“You’re not learning anything from it,” he says. “I can’t sit there and say in 20 years I’m going to need to know his favorite baseball team was this. That’s just useless information.”
However, Sylvester Brown at Houston’s Black Heritage Society believes the whole thing is being taken out of context.
“Is the teacher using it to express her views?” asks Brown. “I don’t think you can look at it from that side unless you’re specifically looking for something to complain about.”
read more at www.wtam.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder said today he will not apologize for a joke made at a recent GOP event suggesting President Barack Obama should be jailed.
Batchelder, a Republican from Medina who leads the House of Representatives, made the comment Saturday at the Summit County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner, according to the Washington Post.
Batchelder was introducing Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum when he cracked a joke about whether Obama, a Democrat, should be re-elected.
“The liberals are asking us to give Obama more time. And I think 25-to-life would be a good start,” said Batchelder, according to the Post.
Today, Democratic Rep. Vernon Sykes, of Akron, called on Batchelder to apologize immediately.
read more at www.cleveland.com
Suzanne Mubarak to Obama: Prevent the transfer of my husband to a prison hospital or I’ll disclose the identities of U.S. agents.
By Elad Benari
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne Mubarak, has sent U.S. President Barack Obama a threat that if he does not prevent the transfer of her husband to a prison hospital, she will disclose the identities of U.S. agents operating in Egypt.
The report on Suzanne Mubarak’s threat was posted on Monday to the website of the independent Israeli newspaper Megaphone. It quoted a report in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Mukhtasar.
According to the report, Suzanne Mubarak made it clear that she is very familiar with the identities and roles of American agents who operate in Egypt, due to her closeness to the Egyptian security elite. She reportedly threatened Obama that if he does not work against the current regime’s intention to transfer her husband she will reveal the information she knows.
read more at www.israelnationalnews.com