Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thus shall it be done unto the man

An interesting literary point is made in this Haaretz article on Shaul Mofaz's recent remarks about Iran - Thus shall it be done unto the man.
Thus spake Shaul Mofaz at the Herzliya Conference on Saturday evening, in his appeal to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "You would be advised to learn from history to see what became of tyrants like you who tried to annihilate the Jewish people. They only brought destruction upon their own people."

Addressing the Iranian people directly, Mofaz said, "Ahmadinejad, his hallucinatory statements, his criminal actions and his extreme views will bring disaster upon you. Do what you know to be right in order to prevent this."

Sound familiar?

In the Book of Esther, Haman's wife Zeresh warns her husband: "If Mordechai, before whom thou hast begun to fall, be of the seed of the Jews, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him." (Esther 6:13)

Since Mofaz thought it appropriate to mention his own Iranian background ("a native of the city in which I was born") in his appeal to Ahmadinejad, it is legitimate to point out the connection - at least the associative one - between the warnings that he sent to the Iranian people and the fate of the oppressors of the Jews in Persia as inscribed in Jewish tradition.
The Haaretz article then goes on to criticize Mofaz by saying that Mofaz's words "cause people to question their wisdom" and to ask "What is achieved by Israel explicitly threatening to destroy Iran?" I'm not so sure that's the import of his allusions to the story of Esther, since in that book, Haman and his supporters are destroyed - not the entire Persian Empire. Actually, in the end, Persia ends up with a Jewish queen. It also strikes me that Mofaz is using quasi-religious language to assert that no matter what the opponents of the Jewish people may try to do to them, they will somehow inevitably be defeated. While this may be a comforting statement from the religious point of view, I somehow doubt that it's necessarily true politically.

1 comment:

  1. How come mullahs are provoking a war