Netanyahu: Purim Holiday Foretells Israeli Victory over Hamas

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a greeting on the Jewish holiday of Purim on Sunday, saying that the holiday’s message of triumph over genocidal enemies held an enduring relevance for Israel’s military battles today.

Purim is based on the story in the Book of Esther, in which the Jews are saved from destruction in ancient Persia. An evil royal adviser, Haman, is outraged when a Jewish leader named Mordechai refuses to bow to him. Haman tells King Achashverosh to order all the Jews executed on a date chosen by lottery (or “Pur” — the source of the holiday’s name). Esther, the Jewish queen (and Mordechai’s cousin), intervenes to convince the king to hang Haman instead.

Videos of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers reciting the Book of Esther — the “Megillah” — in Gaza in observance of Purim went viral on social media on Sunday, such as a group of soldiers in Shifa Hospital, after battles with Hamas:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a Purim service inside Israel, and told the soldiers (translation and text via Israel’s Government Press Office):

Head of IDF Manpower Maj.-Gen. Asor, Commander of the Military Police, commanders and soldiers, I am very impressed by your work at all times but especially now, when the challenges facing you have grown significantly, to put it mildly. The missions have become greater as have your efforts.

You defend the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel around the clock, in various missions, while assuming risks and sometimes with sacrifice. I want to commend you and tell you – well done. Thank you very much.

I want to thank the rabbi not only for the flawless reading but also for your important remarks regarding the reading, which were not extraneous but go to the heart of the matter.

Today we mark the holiday of Purim (https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/purim). More than 2,000 years ago in ancient Persia, an antisemitic enemy arose, the wicked Haman, who sought to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the Earth. The Jews stood up, united together, fought and won a total victory.

Today in modern Persia, there is a new enemy – the Iranian regime, which seeks to destroy the state of the Jews. We have already seen what Hamas, one of this enemy’s proxies, did on October 7, which President Biden also called sheer evil.

It is impossible to defeat the sheer evil by leaving it intact in Rafah. As in ancient times, like our brothers, we are also united. We are fighting and will be victorious. We will enter Rafah and achieve total victory. We eliminated Haman and we will also eliminate Sinwar.

Happy holiday to you!

Enemies of Israel have often seized upon Netanyahu’s occasional references to Biblical texts to claim that he is calling for a holy war against the Palestinians — often, as in South Africa’s case, misquoting the text to which he had referred.

Antisemitic and pro-Iran activists on social media have already circulated a false version of the Purim story on social media, the Jerusalem Post reports, claiming that the holiday celebrates the genocide of ancient Iranians by Jews.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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