The American Jewish left and its Israeli counterparts are throwing a tantrum over Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next month. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog has called on Bibi to cancel the speech. So has the leader of the American Jewish Reform Movement, Rabbi Rick Jacobs. And Ha’aretz‘s Barak Ravid, who evidently takes his cues from former Obama campaign hack (now U.S. ambassador to Israel) Dan Shapiro, is calling Netanyahu “Iran’s secret weapon.”
It is noteworthy that Netanyahu’s speech is scheduled for March 3, two days in advance of the Purim holiday, and the eve of the Fast of Esther, observed by religious Jews around the world. The fast commemorates a similar fast held by the Jews of the Persian empire to assist Queen Esther, a Jewess, before she approached the king’s to request that he reverse a decree condemning the Jews of Persia to death. Anyone who approached the king uninvited risked an immediate death sentence.
Esther herself prevaricated, telling her cousin Mordechai: “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes to the king and enters the inner courtyard without being summoned, his is but one verdict: execution; except for the person to whom the king extends his golden scepter [only] he shall live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for thirty days now.” (Esther 4:11)
Mordechai urges Esther to take the risk of violating protocol: “Do not think that you will escape [the fate of] all the Jews by being in the king’s palace,” he says. “For if you will remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source, and you and the house of your father will be lost. And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.” (Esther 4:13-14)
Today, with a fanatical regime in Persia threatening to wipe out the Jewish people, Netanyahu is following Esther’s example of audacious courage.
There are probably some friends of Israel who oppose Netanyahu’s speech out of a sincere concern that he might alienate the Obama administration. Some of those calling upon him to cancel, like Herzog, have personal political gain in mind. And some, like Rabbi Jacobs and the Democrats in Congress, seem more worried about the political embarrassment to President Barack Obama that might result from Netanyahu exposing the failure–and danger–of Obama’s Iran policy.
None of these critics seem to consider the fact that the American people are on Israel’s side, regardless of what the Obama administration says or does. A recent poll shows that a healthy plurality of American voters supports Netanyahu’s speech.
The critics also seem to think that the Iranian threat will be resolved some other way–that, as Rabbi Jacobs said, Bibi could “find another way to express his voice.”
They are wrong, and history will note their prevarication in the face of great evil.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak