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)