Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Compelling Reason to Go to War

As if invoking the Holocaust in his AIPAC speech to sell an attack on Iran were not sufficiently outrageous, the seriously unembarrassed Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, also saw fit to invoke the biblical story of Esther:

"This week, we will read how one woman changed Jewish history. In synagogues throughout the world, the Jewish people will celebrate the festival of Purim. We will read how some, 2,500 years ago, a Persian anti-Semite tried to annihilate the Jewish people. We will read how his plot was foiled by one courageous woman - Esther. In every generation, there are those who wish to destroy the Jewish people. We are blessed to live in an age when there is a Jewish state capable of defending the Jewish people. And we are doubly blessed to have so many friends like you, Jews and non-Jews alike, who love the State of Israel and support its right to defend itself. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for standing up for the one and only Jewish state."

Remember the refrain over Iraq? We were lied into a war. Well, this time around, not only are we being fed Israeli lies about Iran, but we're expected to swallow delusional Zionist fantasies and biblical mythology as well. That's chutzpah for you.

Author Robert Wright's reflections in The Atlantic on Netanyahu's abuse of the story of Esther are well taken:

"Yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave president Obama a copy of the book of Esther, which will be read in synagogues this week in observance of Purim. Esther tells the story of a Persian government that tries and fails to wipe out all the Jews in the Persian Empire. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Netanyahu saw this as an occasion to generalize about Persians (or, as we call them today, Iranians). He told Obama, 'Then, too, they wanted to wipe us out'." (Bibi Netanyahu's Bible story, 6/3/12)

And Obama a) rolled his eyes? b) muttered to himself? c) sighed deeply? d) thought Jeeesus! e) bit his tongue and grinned idiotically f) all of the above?

"Here's a thought experiment: Supppose that an Arab or Iranian leader of Muslim faith met with President Obama and told him about some part of the Koran that alludes to conflict between Muhammad and Jewish tribes. For example, according to Muslim tradition, the Jewish tribe known as the Qurayzah, though living in Muhammad's town of Medina, secretly sided with Muhammad's enemies in Mecca. Suppose this Muslim said to Obama, 'Then, too, the Jews were bent on destroying Muslims'. What would our reaction be? I think reactions would vary. Some people would say, 'See, the Koran teaches Muslims to hate Jews!' Some would say, 'Wow, this Muslim is looking really hard for reasons to keep hating Jews, isn't he?' That second point, at least, would have some merit. After all, the Muslim could just as easily have pointed to parts of the Koran that say nice things about Jews - such as the part that says that God, in his 'prescience', chose 'the children of Israel... above all peoples'. Or the part that says that God 'sent down the Torah' as 'guidance to the people' and now had sent down the Koran 'confirming what was before it'." (ibid)

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