Skip to content


Netanyahu’s Gift Book of Esther

Dissident Voice Article

By Gary Leupp

According to press reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave President Obama a gift during his visit to Washington, as he urged the U.S. to attack Iran: a copy of the Old Testament Book of Esther. Officials around Netanyahu referred to the text as “background reading” on Iran for Obama, comprising as it does a story of a plot by Persians (Iranians) to exterminate the Jewish people. The book is traditionally read on the Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins tonight (March 7).

According to the Oxford Companion to the Bible, Esther is “best understood as a novella.” Its date cannot “be determined with any precision,” but is “clearly one of the latest books in the Hebrew Bible.” It’s apparently set during the reign of the Persian king Xerxes, who reigned between 486 and 485 BCE, although some suggest it’s set during the later reign of Artaxerxes. In any case, it may have been composed as late as 100 BCE, long after the events it purports to depict. It is fiction.

The body of the text, written in Hebrew, is supplemented by substantial interpolations composed in Greek.

In the plausible historical record, the elite of the kingdom of Judah were transported to Babylon in 587 BCE, as punishment for resisting the Assyrian Empire. (The bulk of the population of that kingdom were probably never removed but remained in place during the “Babylonian Captivity.”) In 538, Cyrus the Persian conquered the Neo-Babylonian Empire and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple; this is why Cyrus–the founder of Persia (Iran)–is glorified in the Bible as a servant of God (Isaiah 44:28 and in various passages in the books of Ezra and Daniel).

So far we are on firm historical ground. It was customary for empires in the ancient Middle East to displace and relocate whole peoples. Members of the elites in Judah and Israel did spend part of the sixth century BCE in Babylonian exile. Many stayed or ventured beyond, forming communities as far afield as India. The Iranian Jewish community dates its origins to this period.

But this book, which Netanyahu gifted Obama, does not reflect the realities of the Jewish past in Iran. It is rather a highly fanciful tale of how Jews at one point in the past supposedly escaped persecution due to the wisdom of the Jewess Esther–who becomes the queen of Persia–and her cousin Mordecai.

(It was written at a time when the question of Jewish intermarriage with non-Jews was a matter of considerable debate. In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, for example, the priests discourage Jewish men from mixing their “holy seed” with Egyptians, Moabites, Amorites etc.; see Ezra 9:12. But the whole point of the Book of Ruth, a novelette written about the same time, is that a Gentile–Moabite–woman can be a good wife and make the Jewish god her own. The Book of Esther should be seen in that context. In the Hebrew version she seems comfortable enough being Persian queen. But in the extended Greek version, she abhors “the bed on the uncircumcised and of any alien.”)

In this book, Mordecai (“one of the captives whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had brought from Jerusalem”) has a dream in which the “righteous nation” is threatened but then “exalted” due to divine intervention. He himself advances in society after exposing a plot of eunuchs to kill the king; two of the wicked eunuchs are executed, and he himself is honored. Meanwhile the court official Haman, who had been close to the eunuchs, conspires to injure Mordecai and his people.

The king becomes upset with his wife Vashti for refusing to appear with him publicly. He sees her behavior as a precedent that might cause women to “dare to insult their husbands” (Esther 1:18) and so issues a decree that “in every house respect would be shown to every husband” (1:22). He searches around for an alternative consort.

Mordecai then arranges for the king to meet his cousin Esther, and she receives his favor (while concealing her ethnicity). Haman, upset with Esther’s rise in favor, and the refusal of Mordecai to pay him due deference, and angered by the rise of the Jews at court, tells the king, “There is a certain nation scattered among all the other nations in your kingdom; their laws are different from those of every other nations, and they do not keep the laws of the king. It is not expedient of the king to tolerate them…” (Esther 8:8). He recommends they be “destroyed.” The (rather malleable) king following his advice issues an order for Jewish annihilation.

There is no evidence this ever happened. There’s no evidence that the Zoroastrian elite in ancient Persia were ever interested in oppressing Jews for religious reasons, much less wiping them out. (Indeed the evidence suggests that Jews in exile were deeply influenced by Persian religion, including the concepts of paradise, the end of time, and a messiah).

In any case, in the story, Mordecai protests publicly. Esther supports him and goes to the king. At the sight of her face “God changed the spirit of the” apparently rather mercurial, malleable king “to gentleness.” Esther revealing her ethnic identity soon persuades him to save Jewry and execute the evil Haman (7:10).

It’s not a terribly interesting story, and if it has any historical value at all, it merely suggests that in the Persian Empire the exiles from Israel and Judah had considerable influence and also confronted opposition and resentment. Why would Netanyahu recommend it to Obama for “background reading”?

Just a hunch: in this fictional piece, Jews confront the power of Persia–the greatest empire of the time, extending “from India to Ethiopia” (Esther 1:1), creatively and indirectly. Mordecai engineers his cousin (“fair and beautiful… admired by all who saw her”) into a position of power and uses her to bring down Haman, who would annihilate Jewry.

Isn’t Netanyahu pressing Obama to bring down the Iranian regime, while arguing that Tehran is hell-bent on nuking the Jewish state? And isn’t that charge as baseless as the fairy tales in the Book of Esther?

View the original article at dissidentvoice.org

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Israel & Zionism, Middle East, Politics.

Tagged with , , , , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?



css.php