By Janet Tassel
"There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed among the other peoples in all the provinces of your realm, whose laws are different from those of any other people….If it please Your Majesty, let an edict be drawn for their destruction…."
Every Jewish child recognizes that miserable request as the whiny voice of Haman, the voice of doom for Jewry were it not for Queen Esther, who, when told, said, "How can I behold the destruction of my people?" thus setting in motion instead the destruction of Haman—and giving us the festival of Purim.
Now, by fate or coincidence, on the day before Purim, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is scheduled to address the United States Congress. Like Esther, he will plead for Israel, threatened this time by the modern Haman in the modern Persia, busily assembling the very latest tools of destruction. For as an Iranian computer engineer said not long ago, according to YNet News, the Islamic Republic "could destroy the Jewish state in less than nine minutes." Apprised of that potential, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, approvingly said, "The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed."
Last week Elie Wiesel noted the Purim connection, pleading for government leaders to join him at Netanyahu's speech, "in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America." The question is how many will indeed join Wiesel, in view of the fact that President Obama is overtly instructing Democrats to boycott the prime minister. This diktat should not be surprising, given Obama's open hostility toward Netanyahu. Recall the president's leaving Bibi to cool his heels in a White House meeting room while he, Obama, went upstairs to have dinner; recall Obama's "anonymous" taunt of Netanyahu as a "coward" and "chickens-t." Recall his crack to President Nicholas Sarkozy on a hot mike, "You're fed up, but I have to deal with him [Netanyahu] every day." And as we know, at this moment, Obama has his own campaign workers in Israel working against Netanyahu's re-election.