Saturday, February 14th, 2015
By Carolyn Yeager
Elie Wiesel is featured in a new full-page ad placed in The New York Times and the Washington Post that is headlined: Iran’s Plan for the Jews, Ancient and Present.
The ad is was organized, produced and paid for by New Jersey Rabbi Shmuley Boteach‘s “This World: The Values Network.US, an organization of which Boteach is Executive Director. The theme, text, politics and intent of the ad are all so Jewish as to give the message: We don’t need you ordinary non-Jews to attend this speech; we’re only addressing the voting members of Congress and the Jewish community.
The ad uses the totally fictional biblical Book of Esther as the backdrop for the storybook approach to presenting Iran as a wicked nation and the world’s greatest enemy of the Jews. The story goes that a “wicked man” named Haman, a minister of the Persian King (whose biblical name is not mentioned in the ad since it is not historical) was discovered as having a plan to kill all the Jews in the kingdom. But a beautiful Jewish girl in the royal harem got word of it and told the King, who then discovered the plot to be true and hanged the wicked Haman and all of his accomplices. This has become the Feast of Purim celebrated every March 5 when “Jewish children in synagogues around the world will shout down the name of Haman when it is pronounced in the Book of Esther.” After which each good little Jewish child receives a cookie in the shape of Haman, encouraging them to destroy Haman all over again by eating the cookie.
The moral of the story: As the brave Esther saved all her people then, the brave holocaust survivor Elie can do no less today. Netanyahu’s speech on the day before Purim (scheduled for March 3) is presented as “an urgent message” on “the catastrophic danger of a nuclear Iran” that America needs to hear.
Though the ad is directed at President Obama, Vice President Biden and members of Congress, I think it is mainly directed to American Jews and Christian Zionists because Jews are divided over Netanyahu’s visit – divided between Republicans and Democrats, between conservatives and liberals. Abe Foxmann of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) denounced a petition drive opposing Netanyahu’s speech by the Democrat-leaning pro-Israel J Street as “inflammatory and repugnant.” It’s clear to me that Wiesel and Boteach both work for Israel – Wiesel since 1948. The prose of the ad is written in 4th – 6th grade level, which is the level of newspaper writing in general.
Text of the Ad:
Many centuries ago a wicked man in Persia advised: “There exists a nation scattered and dispersed among the others … it is not in our interest to tolerate them.”
And the order went out to all the provinces “to annihilate, murder and destroy the Jews, young and old, children and women.
Now Iran, modern Persia, has produced a new enemy. The Ayatollah Khamenei has been as clear as his predecessor in declaring his goal: the “annihilation and destruction” of Israel. He is bent on acquiring the weapons needed to make good on the deadly promise.
The disaster of ages past was averted, but the event is remembered in the holiday of Purim. On March 5 Jewish children in synagogues around the world will shout down the name of Haman when it is pronounced in the Book of Esther. They understand a simple truth that at times eludes world leaders. [Oh brother, they just do what they’re told without understanding a thing. -cy] When someone in power threatens your destruction, you must loudly condemn him.
On the day before Purim, the prime minister of Israel will address Congress on the catastrophic danger of a nuclear Iran. I intend to be there. Should we not show our support for what might be the last clear warning before a terrible deal is struck? Santayana wrote that those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it. I believe that those who deny history – specifically the Holocaust – are determined to repeat it.
President Obama, Vice-President Biden, distinguished members of Congress, I ask you – as one who has seen the enemies of the Jewish people make good on threats to exterminate us, how can I remain silent? [No you have not seen that. You lie. This whole website devoted to you proves it. But you are unwilling to answer a single question. The first one is: Why won’t you show us your Auschwitz tattoo? It’s not because of “privacy.” It can only be because you don’t have one but claim to have one. Which makes you quite a reckless liar. -cy ]
As Queen Esther said when addressing her King: “How can I behold the destruction of my people?”
I plead with you to put aside the politics that have obscured the critical decisions to be made. Surely it is within your power to find a solution that will permit Israel’s Prime Minister to deliver his urgent message.
Will you join me in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America?
In traditional Jewish families we close the Sabbath with the lighting of the Havdalah candle and a quote from the Book of Esther retelling how danger was replaced by light and happiness, and the blessing: “And so may it be for us.”
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