Following his address to Congress, perhaps to be delivered with the air of pugnacity he adopts on occasion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hurry off to celebrate a holiday commemorating the slaughter of more than 75,000 Gentiles.
In a recent article entitled Politically Corrupt and Pro-Israel–Do the Two Traits Go Together?, I made note of the fact that Netanyahu had originally been invited to speak on February 11, but that the date had been reset to March 3, placing the speech on Capital Hill concurrent with the AIPAC policy conference, which will also be taking place in Washington. Early March, as it so happens, is a significant time on the Jewish calendar this year–coinciding with the holiday of Purim.
Purim is a Jewish holiday marking the defeat of a plot against Jews in ancient Persia, followed by the slaughter of more than 75,000 Gentiles in an outpouring of revenge.
Hatched by a court official named Haman, the plot to destroy the Jews was foiled by the Jewish queen, Esther, with help from a male relative of hers named Mordecai, who, when the killing was finally over and done, directed that Jews forever thereafter should set aside the days–the 14th and 15th of Adar–as a time of festivities. The events are related in the Old Testament Book of Esther, and today the occasion is observed with jubilant celebrations and the eating of triangular-shaped pastries known as hamantaschen, or “Haman’s ears.”
The AIPAC policy conference in Washington is scheduled to run March 1-3. This year’s Purim holiday begins at sundown on March 4, and will run through sundown March 5. The decision by the conference organizers to hold the conference in such close proximity to the holiday would not, of course, have been by chance.
AIPAC policy conferences are held on an annual basis. Often they are in February or March, and it’s not unusual for them to fall in close proximity to the Purim holiday, though usually they don’t bump right up against the holiday as this year’s conference will be doing.
Netanyahu will address Congress literally on the holiday’s eve–at a time when Jews, planning their Purim activities, will be in high spirits. The invitation for him to speak was extended by House Speaker John Boehner, and the arrangement was made without any prior consultation with the White House.
I don’t know much about Boehner, although he doesn’t strike me as particularly bright. Perhaps he was ignorant of the significance of the date when he set March 3 as the day for the Israeli leader’s speech. One thing is for sure, though. He invited a foreign head of state to speak, and in so doing he deliberately kept the White House out of the loop, knowing that it would in essence be a symbolic slap in the face to the president, and probably intending it as such.
Obama has been a wretched president. His wars, proxy wars, and regime change operations have caused countless deaths and suffering, and if truth be told he is probably guilty of war crimes. Boehner’s slight of him, and his violation of protocol, may therefore not give rise to the sort of heightened sense of indignation that people might otherwise be feeling.
But an insult to the president of the United States is an insult to America itself. And a gratuitous favor extended to a foreign head of state, at the expense of our own head of state, must be seen for what it is: an act of disloyalty. Add to that the fact that the country in question has been involved in spying against America, has stolen American technology and sold it to foreign nations, that it once attacked a US ship, killing 34 of its crew members, and was involved, most likely, in the false flag attack of 9/11, and suddenly Boehner’s actions can be perceived and viewed as bordering upon treason.
In my previous article, “Politically Corrupt and Pro-Israel–Do the Two Traits Go Together?”, I discussed Boehner’s support for the Keystone XL pipeline and his financial investments in oil companies with a stake in that project–and I suggested that perhaps the US Justice Department might want to look into the House Speaker’s financial dealings and possible misuse of his official position. But maybe at this point the feds should consider pursuing more serious charges even than that.
Over the years Middle East observers have noticed a correlation between Purim holidays and heightened eruptions of violence in the region. In many cases this appears to have been by design on the part of the initiators or perpetrators of the violence. Consider the following:
1991: the Purim holiday began this year on February 27. The first Iraq war, or “Operation Desert Storm,” as it was called, was in its closing hours. On the night of February 26-27 US forces carried out a bombing attack upon a retreating Iraqi convoy consisting of more than a thousand vehicles. A video, here, includes footage filmed in the immediate aftermath. The incident came to be known as the “Highway of Death.” It was the closing curtain of the war, but on March 5–less than a week later–Congress passed a joint resolution paying tribute to Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (more about that resolution below).
1994: Purim begins on February 24. On the morning of February 25, Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein entered the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron carrying an assault rifle and proceeded to open fire, killing 29 people and wounding 125 others before finally being overcome by worshipers. Goldstein, for his deed, was regarded as a hero in Israel. It was at the killer’s funeral–attended by more than 100,000 people–that Rabbi Yaacov Perrin famously declared that a million Arabs are “not worth a Jewish fingernail.” The funeral is discussed in the book Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, who report that in addition to being a follower of Rabbi Meir Kahane, Goldstein was also a follower of Schneerson, and that many of the mourners who turned out were Chabad yeshiva students. And even still today is the killer regarded as as a figure of reverence in the Jewish state. During Purim celebrations in 2010 Jewish settlers sang songs of praise for him in front of Arabs, and you can click here to view a slide show of Purim celebrations near his grave in 2012.
2003: Purim begins on March 17. On March 18, with holiday celebrations in full swing, George W. Bush informed Congress he intended taking military action against Iraq, asserting that “further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.” He also cited the need “to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” One day later, on March 19, Bush went on national TV and announced the start of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” In the address he claimed that the world was “at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.”
2011: Purim begins on March 19. That very day, French fighter jets initiated air strikes upon Libya, while shortly thereafter US and UK warships stationed off the coast began to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, reportedly firing 110 missiles on the first day of the conflict. On March 24, White House press secretary Jay Carney ludicrously claimed, “We are not engaged in militarily-driven regime change.” Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed by US-backed rebels on October 20 following a NATO bombing of his convoy. When informed of the news of his death, Hillary Clinton laughed and said, “We came, we saw, he died.”
Placing it all in Context
No weapons of mass destruction were ever found, and many have suggested the second Iraq war was in reality a “war for oil.” Probably there are a good many who still believe that. What seems to have been largely forgotten (some things have a way of disappearing down the memory hole) is Saddam Hussein’s practice of awarding sums of money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The following was reported by Fox News on March 26, 2002:
Saddam Hussein is paying $25,000 to the relatives of Palestinian suicide bombers — a $15,000 raise much welcomed by the bombers’ families.
In Tulkarm, one of the poorest towns on the West Bank, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council handed out the checks from Saddam. The payments have been made for at least two years, but the amount has suddenly jumped up by $15,000 — a bonus for the families of martyrs, to reward those taking part in the escalating war against Israel.
In other words, Saddam Hussein was viewed by Jews in Israel in essence as a modern-day Haman. Likewise, Muammar Gaddafi was also perceived as a menace–not to Jewish lives in Israel so much, but certainly to Jewish global financial power. Under Gaddafi, Libyans enjoyed not only free health care and education, but even free electricity–all paid for by the country’s oil wealth. Citizens were also able to take out interest-free bank loans. But perhaps Gaddafi’s greatest crime was his plan to introduce the African gold dinar as a new currency and to begin trading oil in it–a move which would have challenged the supremacy of the US petrodollar. For this reason, he had to be overthrown. The fact that the military assault against him began on Purim may be a coincidence, but I doubt it.
Perhaps even more jaw-dropping than the lies used to justify the attack on Libya is the congressional tribute paid in 1991 to Chabad Lubavitch leader Schneerson. The “Lubavichter Rebbe,” as he has been referred to, was openly supremacist, but this didn’t stop Congress from recognizing March 26, 1991 as “Education Day” in his honor or referring to him as “universally respected and revered.”
The resolution garnered 225 co-sponsors, including Rep. Leon Panetta, who would later go on to serve a term as head of the CIA and later Secretary of Defense. Panetta, who is Jewish, signed onto the measure on February 27–the first day of Purim!
Though not listed as co-sponsor, John Boehner was a freshman congressman at the time.
The resolution, the full text of which can be viewed here, ended up passing the house by “unanimous consent” on March 5; it passed the Senate two days later, and was signed into law by President George Bush Sr. on March 20. Thus Schneerson came to be lionized as “this great spiritual leader,” while his birthday, March 26, was set aside as a special day of appreciation.
Throughout much of his life, the Chabad leader was a champion of the 7 Noahide Laws, and indeed the congressional resolution, in addition to aggrandizing Schneerson, also enshrines the Noahide Laws as a set of “ethical values and principles” forming the “edifice of civilization,” without which the world would be ever-so-greatly in “serious peril of returning to chaos.”
Of course one could make the case that the world in 1991, one week after the Highway of Death, was already in a state of chaos, and that in the years since then the disarray and chaos on the planet have grown exponentially worse. So was this wording in the resolution simply a case of Orwellian semantics, love is hate, war is peace, and order is chaos–that sort of thing? Or is a certain amount of chaos deemed desirable under the belief (a religious belief perhaps?) that the pandemonium and mobocracy it generates will lead to order later on?
The 7 Noahide Laws are not mentioned in the Old Testament; the concept is a Talmudic construct. In a way you could think of it as Christian Zionism with Christ stripped completely out of the picture. More specifically it is a set of seven laws conceived of by Talmudic Jews for Gentiles to follow.
The matter is discussed in some depth in an article here by Rev. Ted Pike, who says that Jews promoting the doctrine believe it will lead to a “utopia,” although it seems a certain amount of controlled chaos is viewed as expedient and unavoidable in order for the world to reach this wonderful stage. Or as Pike describes it, “a time of Gentile anguish is necessary to displace Gentiles from their control of the nations and dominion of Jews.” Pike’s article is fairly lengthy, but given that the US government has endorsed the 7 Noahide Laws as the “edifice of civilization,” it might be worth your time to read it in full. At any rate, the member of Congress who drew up the “Education Day” resolution surely would have been fully cognizant of all of these ramifications.
Purim and the Book of Esther
The cast of characters in the Book of Esther includes King Ahasuerus, the monarch of Persia (thought by some to be Xerxes I); Haman, the king’s vizier, or chief minister; Queen Esther; Mordecai, a Jew who lives in the Persian capital of Susa and who seems to devote a good deal of his time insinuating himself into the king’s good graces, or “sitting at the king’s gate,” as the text puts it; and a cast of lesser characters, including eunuchs and sages.
Esther is the new queen of the realm, having replaced the old queen, Vashti, who disobeyed her husband and was stripped of her royal position and title. Esther is a relative of Mordecai, and the latter advises her at the outset of the book not to reveal her Jewish identity to the king.
Haman concocts a plot to commit genocide against the Jews of Persia, but the book really doesn’t explain why. The only reason given is that Mordecai refuses to “bow down” to him, and the thoughtful reader is left wondering: were there maybe other reasons? Was Haman perhaps worried about the corruption of the morals of Persian youth? Maybe he was fed up with constant agitating for war with Babylon, or sick and tired of greedy moneylenders exploiting the poor? We don’t really know, and the writer seems to share a trait common to many modern-day Jews: a blind spot as to how Jewish behavior is the cause of anti-Semitism.
As the plot develops, Mordecai gets wind of Haman’s ambition to kill the Jews and discloses it to Esther. Together they devise a plan to bring it to the attention of the king. In the meantime, Haman has a gallows 50 cubits high constructed especially for the purpose of having Mordecai hanged on it, and he is also moving closer to enacting his grand scheme of genocide. But at a dinner at the royal palace, with Haman present, Esther lays bare the plot to the king, in the course of which she reveals also that she is Jewish. Ahasuerus orders Haman hanged on his own gallows and makes Mordecai the new vizier instead. The queen petitions the king also to “let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows,” and so the hapless court official’s sons are put to death as well.
The king then issues a new edict authorizing the Jews to arm themselves and “to destroy, to kill, to annihilate” anyone who might attack them. “A copy of the writ was to be issued as a decree in every province and published to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take revenge on their enemies,” the text reads.
After the issuing of the edict, Mordecai leaves the palace wearing royal robes of blue and white (the colors of the Israeli flag), wearing also a crown upon his head, and makes his way through the city of Susa shouting and rejoicing.
The Jews kill 800 people in Susa (500 on the 13th of Adar, and 300 more on the 14th– apparently for good measure), and an additional 75,000 are slaughtered (on the 13th only) in the other provinces of the kingdom. On the 15th of Adar everyone “rested,” and Mordecai declares that from henceforth the 14th and 15th are to be days of celebration.
In his own analysis of the Book of Esther and the Purim holiday, writer Gilad Atzmon, author of the The Wandering Who, says AIPAC’s influence in US politics should be viewed in the context of the biblical tale.
“The moral of the story is rather clear. If Jews want to survive, they better find infiltrates into the corridors of power,” he says, adding that Jews today almost invariably “internalise the message of the Book of Esther.”
Atzmon also observes, correctly, that the book makes no mention of Yahweh, the Jewish God, anywhere in any of its ten chapters. What he doesn’t mention, however, is that Haman is clearly identified as an “Agagite,” that is to say as a descendent of King Agag, the hereditary king of the Amalekites. In the Book of I Samuel, Yahweh commands the Israelites to destroy the Aamalekites down to every “last man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Thus, even though the Book of Esther makes no direct mention of Yahweh, at the same time by identifying Haman as an Agagite, the writer is nonetheless invoking the Jewish god indirectly. The war between the Israelites and the Amalekites was a longstanding one, going all the way back to the Book of Exodus, where it is said that Yahweh “will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
Thus the push to destroy Haman and his sons was a continuation of that war, and all contemporary Hebrew readers of the Book of Esther at that time (and probably most Jewish readers today as well) would have recognized it as such. As for the other 75,800 people killed, no mention is made as to whether they are Amalekites or simply native Persians, the implication being that it doesn’t really matter: they are Gentiles, so it’s okay to kill them.
Boehner has faced a certain amount of public criticism for extending his invitation to Netanyahu (suggesting that maybe there’s hope for America yet), but he remains unrepentant for his breach of protocol.
“The House of Representatives is a equal branch of the government, and we have a right to do it, and we did it,” he said earlier this week. “And I’m frankly proud of the fact the prime minister has accepted our invitation, and will be here on March 3 to talk to the members of Congress about the serious threat that Iran poses, and the serious threat of radical Islam.”
Such a statement would suggest that Boehner is being disingenuous or else he is totally oblivious to the fact that Israel has been supporting takfiri militants operating in Syria. It has even been said that Israel essentially acts as ISIS’s air force, given that its periodic bombing attacks upon Syria seem to be strategically calculated to advance the terrorist army’s military objectives. I may be giving Boehner credit for being more intelligent than he really is, but I’m guessing he is probably aware of this.
It was not ISIS but an Iranian general and six members of Hezbollah–in Syria to combat the “serious threat of radical Islam” Boehner professes to be so worried about–who were the most recent victims of an Israeli strike. And so once again we see US and Israeli interests running at cross purposes with each other, with a prominent US political figure siding with the Israelis.
The Book of Esther, and particularly the actions of King Ahasuerus, pose for us an intriguing question, one that remains relevant today more than two millennia later, and which many of us still struggle to answer: how is it that kings, presidents, heads of state, etc. can become so enamored of Jews that they are willing to allow 75,000 of their own citizens to be turned into shark bait?
One other point I’ll make before closing. You’ll recall, above, the staggering of the dates in which the Gentiles were killed in Persia. The slaughter in the provinces took place on the 13th of Adar, at which point, on the 14th of Adar, the Jews “rested.” In the city of Susa, however, the bloodshed spanned a two-day period, with Gentiles being killed on both the 13th and the 14th. Consequently, the overtaxed Jews of Susa didn’t get around to “resting” until the 15th. It was a discrepancy Mordecai took into consideration in his proclamation of the holiday and the dates on which the observances were to be held–and it remains in effect to this day.
Originally, of course, Purim celebrations on the 15th were observed only by Jews in Susa, but later rabbis declared that “Shushan Purim” should be observed in Jerusalem as well. Thus today in Israel Purim is celebrated on the 15th of Adar, whereas Jews in most other countries, including the United States, celebrate it on the 14th.
You could kind of look at it this way: the US, at least with regard to Purim observances, is effectively regarded as a “province” of Israel.