By Aaron Fruh
Insanity is no respecter of persons, nations, or terrorists regimes. Those of us still retaining a bit of our senses in a world turned upside down are puzzled why the most powerful man in the world would feel the urge to bow in surrender to the nuclear-weapon demands of the demented poor souls of the world's most deadly, sociopathic and bloodthirsty (in a literal sense) terrorist regime, Iran. It kind of adds a whole new bizarre and twisted logic to President Obama's desperate yearning for gun control.
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The Iranian regime has earned the reputation of being the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world – nothing to be proud of among civilized human beings, but who's judging? Unfortunately, very few, especially in the levels of American leadership that can and should make a difference in the safety of our long-term ally, Israel. Three critical factors are at the heart of the nuclear deal between America and Iran: Iran's ambition to "wipe Israel off the map" (their own admission), an American president who has made an agreement with an anti-Semitic Iranian empire determined to annihilate Jews, and a Jewish prime minister by the name of Benjamin. In a surreal twist, it's all happened before – every bit of it – in another time and reality.
First, a bit of history. The book of Esther in the Bible is the story of a jealous anti-Semitic politician who convinces a nation that the Jewish people are worthy of destroying. This politician named Haman used the strategy of delegitimization and demonization to prove the Jews were an existential threat to the future of the empire he served, Persia (coincidentally, modern-day Iran). Haman was not a Persian but rather an Amalekite. This non-Persian Amalekite made an alliance with the king of Persia to annihilate the Jewish people. The Amalekites attacked Israel in their wilderness journey after their exodus from Egypt. Joshua fought back while Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses. After the Hebrews defeated Amalek, God proclaimed to Moses: "… the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation" (Exodus 17:16). This has proven true. The brooding and hateful power of Amalek (call it a spirit of Jewish hatred if you want) has always had its Hamans. A person doesn't have to search very deeply in Jewish history to find those inspired by Amalek.
During the time of Haman's rise to power in Persia, the queen of the empire was a Jewish woman named Esther. Many Jews lived within the 127 provinces of Persia. She was warned by her uncle Mordecai, a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, that Haman had made an deal with the king of Persia (Iran) to literally wipe the Jews off the map. Haman despised the Benjamite Mordecai because he would not bow and submit to him publicly. Seething with anger, Haman gave his allegiance to and negotiated with the king of Persia and promised he would bring thousands of talents of silver into the empire's treasuries if he were allowed to exterminate the Jews. Inspired by money, the king of Persia entered into an alliance with Haman and gave him his signet ring to make the Jewish death deal official. If this weren't bad enough, inspired by his wife and friends, Haman built a gallows 50 cubits high on which to hang Mordecai the Benjamite Jew.
After hearing the warning of her people's destruction, Esther sent word to Mordecai that it was against protocol for her to speak to the king without an invitation. She asked the Jewish people to fast and pray with her three days, after which she would make her appeal, stating: "If I perish, I perish." She cared more for her people than she did for her own life. Are there any similarities between Haman, Persia, Mordecai and Esther of old and the modern-day relationship between the American President Barrack Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Can history repeat itself? You be the judge. Consider these facts:
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- TWO NAMES, SAME COUNTRYIran is modern-day Persia.
- TWO DEALS MADE ON THE EXACT SAME DATEEvil Haman and the king of Persia (Iran) made a deal on the 13th day of the first month of Nissan (on the Jewish calendar). Esther 3:12 states: "Then the kings scribes were called on the 13th day of the first month (Nissan) and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded." The deal gave the Persian people the freedom to annihilate the Jewish people in the Middle East.President Obama and the king of Persia (Iran) made a deal on April 2, 2015, which on the Jewish calendar is the 13th day of the first month of Nissan. This deal allows Iran (Persia) to build a nuclear bomb that has the capacity to annihilate the Jews living in Israel. The date this deal was made was the exact date Haman made a deal with the king of Persia.Compelling portrayals of the dramatic, inspiring biblical story: See the films "One Night with the King" and "Book of Esther"
- TWO MEN WHO MAKE CONVENIENT YET DESTRUCTIVE POLITICAL ALLIANCESHaman was not Persian yet had an affinity for the religion of Persia and made an alliance with the Persian Empire to fulfill his geopolitical quests.President Obama is not Persian but has a very strong affinity and deep love for the Islamic political ideology and religion and has made an alliance with Persia. He has stated that the most beautiful sound to his ears is the Muslim call to prayer. In a televised address to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, President Obama said, "You are a great and celebrated culture that has made the world a beautiful place. Your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States."
- TWO BENJAMINSMordecai was a Benjamite.The Prime Minister of Israel's name is Benjamin.
- TWO OFFENDED MENHaman was offended when Mordecai the Benjamite refused to bow to his ongoing political demands. Anger erupted in Haman and an alliance was formed with Persia that brought great sorrow and fear to the Jewish people internationally.President Obama is offended by Benjamin Netanyahu because he refuses to bow to his ongoing political demands. Anger has erupted in President Obama and an alliance has been formed with modern-day Persia that has brought great sorrow and fear to the Jewish people internationally.
- TWO ISSUES OF PROTOCOLBecause of protocol, Esther was forbidden to speak in the king's court unless she was called by the king himself. She entered the king's court without an invitation from the king at the risk of her life. Yet, she cared more about the existential Persian threat facing her people than she did about her own life.Because of protocol, Benjamin Netanyahu was discouraged by President Obama from addressing Congress in March. Prime Minister Netanyahu entered the halls of Congress against President Obama's wishes at the risk of his political life. Yet, Netanyahu cared more about the existential Persian threat facing his people than he did about his own life.
- TWO GALLOWSThrough his alliance with the king of ancient Persia, Haman built a gallows in Shushan, the capital city of Persia, in order to hang the Benjamite Jew, Mordecai. The gallows were 50 cubits in height, a little over 80 feet tall.On Jan. 23, 2015, the Jerusalem Post reported satellite images of a structure looking much like a gallows. They had never seen anything like it before in its locale. The structure is in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, modern-day Persia. The structure is a launching pad for an ICBM missile capable of reaching Israel. Its reported height? 50 cubits, a little over 80 feet tall.
- TWO PURIMSWhen God delivered Esther, Mordecai the Benjamite and the Jewish people from Haman's anger and Persian wrath, she called for a celebration that became one of the feasts of the Jewish people known as Purim. (Purim is Hebrew for "lots" because Haman cast lots to determine the day of the Jews' destruction, but God turned the lots in the Jews' favor.)Purim 2015 was March 4-5th. Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to our nation to save and protect the Jewish people in a speech he gave to our Congress on March 3, 2015, (the 12 of Adar on the Jewish calendar), Purim Eve.
- TWO BOOKSMordecai the Jewish Benjamite wrote the decree of Esther that counteracted evil Haman's decree and saved the Jews from annihilation. The story surrounding the decree would later become the biblical book of Esther.On March 7, 2012, (Purim Eve) in a visit to America to discuss the Persian nuclear threat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a book to President Barack Obama. The book was the book of Esther from the Bible.
- TWO SIGNATURESWhen King Ahasuerus agreed to Haman's plot to erase the more than 3 million Jews from the Persian empire, he gave him his signature ring to sign the decree.Foreign policy experts, the president's own people, and the press have given a title to President Obama's quest for a radical Islamic nuclear Iran. And what title have they collectively and repeatedly called this new alliance? President Obama's signature foreign policy achievement.
- TWO GATESWhen Mordecai learned of Haman's plot, he mourned and cried loudly. He put on sackcloth and ashes and went to the entrance of the king's gate but was not allowed to enter because he was in mourning and making too much noise (Esther 4:1-2).A former U.S. secretary of defense writes in his memoir that he was so irritated by Prime Minister Netanyahu's constant concern over America's softness toward Iran he told the national security adviser to keep Benjamin locked outside of the White House gate because he was making too much noise. And oh, by the way, the defense secretary's name was Gates.
- TWO MULTICULTURALISTSHaman's hatred toward the Jews was rooted in the fact that they would not blend into the multiculturalism of Persian society: "There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people" (Esther 3:8).A present-day multiculturalist seethes at the very thought of a Jewish state. The idea of Israel's distinct exceptionalism is a forbidden sin to a multiculturalist. Would a nuclear Iran be the final solution to a distinct and separate Jewish state? Would an existential threat force the Jews to give up the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, thereby flooding the land with non-Jews and delegitimizing Israel's sovereignty and uniqueness? It's something to think about.
- TWO SILVER ENRICHMENTSHaman made a deal with the king of Persia that included enriching Persian vaults with silver talents amounting to 10,000 (Esther 3:9).President Obama has made a deal with the Supreme Leader of Persia that includes enriching uranium (a silver metal) within 10 years.
- TWO MEN WITH THE SAME DAILY FRUSTRATIONHaman was enraged toward Mordecai because every day he passed through the city gate Mordecai refused to bow down to pay him homage (Esther 3:2-6).In a conversation about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that was picked up by a "hot" microphone between President Obama and the president of France (at that time Nicolas Sarkozy) in November 2011, Sarkozy stated: "I cannot stand him." President Obama replied, "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day."
- TWO GEORGESIs history repeating itself? Are we witnessing another Haman-like drama unfold before our eyes? As you think about these connections, consider two statements by two Georges:George Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."George Bernard Shaw said, "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."
Aaron Fruh is the lead pastor at Knollwood Church in Mobile, Alabama, and produces a weekly radio program called "Spirit Empowered Living with Aaron Fruh." He also hosts a weekly show with Crane Durham ("Nothing But Truth") on American Family Radio called "Afternoons with Aaron." He is the author of "The Forgotten Blessing," "The Decree of Esther" and "Two Minute Warning: Why It's Time to Honor Jewish People Before the Clock Runs Out" (co-written with Bill McCartney of Promise Keepers).