Netanyahu´s gift to Obama: tale of a Persian plot (REUTERS) Writing by Jeffrey Heller; editing by Todd Eastham WASHINGTON 03/14/12 7:08pm EST)
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(Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed
President Barack Obama a gift on Monday that spoke volumes about
Israel´s tensions with Iran - an ancient Hebrew tome about a Persian
plot to annihilate Jews.
It´s called the Scroll of Esther, a tale of palace intrigue featuring
a Jewish beauty who charms a Persian king into foiling an evil
adviser´s genocidal plans for her people some 2,500 years ago.
"Then too, they wanted to wipe us out," Netanyahu told Obama,
according to an Israeli official.
Jewish faithful gather in synagogues on Wednesday to read the
parchment text, popularly known as the Megillah, on the eve of the
Jewish costume holiday of Purim, a celebration of salvation and of
turning the tables on one´s foes.
"And the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword,
and with slaughter and destruction, and did what they would unto them
that hated them," one of the verses says.
Netanyahu, who has called Iran´s nuclear program a threat to the
Jewish state´s existence, made a point of telling reporters after his
White House meeting with the president that he had given the Megillah
The Israeli leader, in a frosty meeting with Obama last May, lectured
the president on Jewish history and criticized his approach to
resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu has also invoked the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust, in
which six million Jews were killed, in citing the dangers he says a
nuclear-armed Iran - the modern-day Persia - would pose.
Obama appealed to Netanyahu at their White House meeting to give
economic sanctions time to work, amid concern that Israel, widely
believed to be the Middle East´s only nuclear power, could strike
Iranian atomic sites.
Iran says it is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes. (© Thomson
Reuters 2012. 03/05/12)
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