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March 4, 2015 4:53 pm

The Lessons of Purim and Iran

avatar by Julie Shain

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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Screenshot.

“Do not think that you will escape [the fate of] all the Jews by being in the king’s palace… And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.”

According to the Book of Esther, these were the words Mordechai said to Queen Esther when he appealed to her desperately for help. He had just discovered Haman’s plan to wipe out the Jews of Persia. Haman had even chosen a date: the 13th day of the month of Adar.

Fast forward 2,500 years: Iran’s Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of modern-day Persia, brags of his country’s unabated nuclear program despite ongoing international negotiations, and proposes practical measures to eliminate the State of Israel. Supplementing these aims, the country arms militant groups that are similarly and openly committed to the destruction of the Jewish people. Meanwhile, international negotiations are poised to legitimize Iran as a nuclear threshold state by March 24, 2015.

When Mordechai learned of Haman’s plot those 2500 years ago, he ventured out into the city in sackcloth and ashes, crying loudly and bitterly before the palace gates. Esther heard of the racket and, before discovering its cause, rushed to send her uncle fresh clothes.”You’re embarrassing yourself,” was Esther’s implicit message to her uncle. “Why are you making a scene?”

From her view in the palace, Esther had not seen the threat facing her people.

Today, as international negotiations with Iran approach the March 24 deadline, pockets of the Jewish community are making a scene.

With little time to spare, these pockets are speaking up against Iran’s illicit nuclear program, its advanced ballistic program, and its standing as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Though a deal is reportedly in the bag, the date picked and set, they are nonetheless decrying a very real danger. For although the Purim story seems remote, it parallels the Iranian threat today.

To some, Iran’s repeated and outspoken genocidal ambitions seem too outlandish to constitute a realistic threat. And yet ex-Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s infamous calls to “wipe Israel off the map” are not ancient or unserious. These threats are parroted by Iran’s Supreme Leader today, and complemented by reports of underground nuclear sites, breaches of Iran’s responsibilities under the international Joint Plan of Action (JPA) agreement, and repeated admissions by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it cannot conclude Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful.

If we don’t take Iran’s genocidal claims seriously, its leaders certainly do.

Meanwhile, today’s P5+1 negotiations do not promise a deal that definitively curtails Iran’s nuclear ambitions. On the contrary, the negotiations are set to normalize Iran’s nuclear ambitions and usher the country onto the nuclear stage, to the tune of self-congratulating fanfare and applause for achieving a ‘historic deal.’

Before the JPA negotiations, the UN repeatedly emphasized that Iran does not have the right to develop a nuclear program at all. Today, that ‘right’ has been unceremoniously and inexplicably accepted as fact.

So what now? When reading of the Iranian threat, it is tempting to excuse ourselves from a position of responsibility. It is tempting to read the headlines, close our eyes, and claim helplessness. And yet Mordechai’s last-ditch appeal to Esther applies now more than ever. With six million Jews as citizens of one of the most powerful countries on Earth, can there be any doubt that we are in a unique position to act? Of all the Jews in the world, is there any group better poised to intercede?

Here in the United States, we may feel happily removed from the Iranian threat, but to feel this way would be unwarranted. Iran’s enmity towards the U.S. is well-documented and ongoing, with Iran’s allegedly ‘moderate’ President Rouhani declaring as recently as May 2013: “Saying ‘Death to America’ is easy. We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action.”

As recently as last week, Iran used a model U.S. aircraft as a target for the country’s military exercises. These repeated acts of animosity have been repeatedly glossed over as the international community races towards its ‘historic deal.’

The time to speak out is not imminent; it is overdue. And despite what we may tell ourselves, we are each in a unique position to address it. We are in a position to demand a safe, responsible, international deal – one that safeguards the United States, Israel, and our allies from a nuclear armed Iran. We are poised to remind our representatives that a deal that achieves anything less is not a momentous diplomatic victory, but a devastating and historic failure.

Contact your representatives, and when you do, mention support for Corker (R-TN) and Menendez (D-NJ)’s Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015″‹”‹. As Mordechai said to Esther, “who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.

Julie Shain is a research analyst at United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).

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  • RobiMac

    ….And Obama is the American Haman….

    For Netanyahu to make his plea to congress in the same week of Purim, there has to be a prophetic connection.

  • Robert Clack

    Liberals boast of the reduction in the number of countries having nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War. Where are they now when a very wicked government is determined to get nuclear weapons?

    Reactions to Netanyahu’s speech:

    Chris Matthews: “This man, from a foreign government…tried to take over foreign policy.”
    Christiane Amanpour: “nothing new”
    John Yarmuth: “…very impressive bit of political theatre.”
    Diane Feinstein: “…weak… nothing new…”
    Nancy Pelosi: “…an insult to the intelligence…”

    Chris! What foreign policy? …policy of appeasement? Self deception? Neville Chamberlain addressing joyful Londoners: “My good friends, this is the second time there has come back from Germany to Downing Street, peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Now I recommend that you go home, and sleep quietly in your beds.” Note the “second time”. They might have missed it when Netanyahu explained that non-lethal pressures could still work. That won’t always be the case. Resolute evil scruples not to exploit every advantage from a better nature, from a kinder instinct.

  • Pat

    No Deal with liers. Destroy there evil program

  • Helene Weinberger

    Being on the “outside” of all parties and negotiations, it is extremely difficult to know where we are heading, but I know this: When Hitler started, the world had no idea where he intended to go. These would-be conquerors are stating where they intend to go, as Hitler did. The world did not listen then, and we came close to losing. Are we doomedto repeat our earlier folly?

  • Israel – In order to consider a new negotiations with the Arab-Palestinians
    First thing, let us see the Arab Palestinians stop teaching their children and the masses to commit terror and violence. Stop rewarding terrorists, stop funding terrorists families, stop naming streets after terrorists. Declare and practice that terror and violence is unacceptable. We need to see a change in attitude towards terror and a true and honest pursuit of peace and coexistence.
    You can accomplish more with honey than with vinegar.
    If that is not possible than there will never be peace.
    A true peace will be a blessing and an economic prosperity to all concerned.
    YJ Draiman

  • Herve

    I would like to remind you that you need to read the word of God Adonai. God will destroy any nation that come against HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE AND HIS CHOSEN CITY, Jerusalem. Their nuclear bomb will have no effect on Israel, God Guarantee it. Remember 1948, 1967,1973. Go give your life to Yeshua instead of trying to kill your neighbour.

  • Gabrielle Grossman

    There is no clear answer to the Iran Nuclear Problem–we are damned if we accept an agreement and they cheat and get the bomb, and we are damned if we walk out and they get the bomb on their own without sanctions bothering them enough to stop them.
    The only answer I can think of under the circumstances, is “regime change”–that hated set of words that suggest a coup or a war. Hopefully a bloodless coup.

  • The Oslo accord is null and void!

    The Arab-Palestinians Charter explicitly states that they want the State of Israel for themselves and the Jewish people destroyed.

    The Arab-Palestinians actions to date has proven that they do not want peace. Why is the liberal left and many of the world nations are fantasizing and deluding themselves that the Arabs want peace.

    People of the world wake up and realize what is their ultimate mission, eliminate the unbelievers.
    If the world at large does not wake up now they will be next. It already has started, take off the blinders, open you eyes and look around.

    No entity in the world will force a solution on Israel.
    They forced or were complicit to the Final solution in WWII with the Holocaust and the extermination of over 6 million Jewish people, men women and children.

    Where were the worlds nations outcry, threats and objection when millions of Jewish people were being exterminated, men women and children? They were silent.

    Where was the world nations when the Arab countries expelled over a million Jewish people from their countries who lived there for over 1800 years, the Arabs confiscated their assets, business, homes and land 5 times the size of Israel, valued in the trillions of dollars?

    Where is the world nations today? Why do they ignore when thousands are slaughtered by Muslims throughout the world.

    Today and since 1948. Israel is being threatened with annihilation and when Israel defends itself from destruction, suicide bombers, thousands of missiles, violence, etc, by the Arabs, every country has something to say, threaten Israel and meddle in its business.

    This is the time when nations of the world must mind their own business and stay out of Israel’s internal affairs. Only then there will be a possibility of peace.

    YJ Draiman