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Lessons we need to learn from Purim

17 March 2022

Today the Jewish world celebrates the holiday of Purim, which commemorates the failed attempt of the Persian ruler Haman, in the 5th century BCE, to annihilate all the Jewish people in the empire. The story is recounted in the Book of Esther.

Haman was the royal vizier to Persian king Xerxes. His plans were foiled by the Jew Mordechai (of the tribe of Benjamin) and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had become queen of Persia after her marriage to Xerxes. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing among the Jews.

It is remarkable that today, in modern-day Persia, the ruling theocratic elite is again determined to wipe out the Jewish people. The Iranian Mullahs make no secret of their plan to destroy Israel, which they see as an enemy of Islam and therefore totally illegitimate.

Iran is governed by a bloody, dictatorial regime. People suspected of political or cultural opposition to the propagated rules of Shia Islam or against the government are imprisoned, tortured, and ruthlessly murdered. Besides China, Iran has the highest rate of killings by state organs in comparison to the population. Following the forceful suppression of the Green Movement in 2009 protesting falsified election results, since 2018 there have been numerous demonstrations and small battles against the regime with thousands of deaths. Many crises confront the Islamic Republic: widespread water shortages caused by long-lasting political and technical failure, a weak economy (only partly due to international sanctions), drug addiction of about 30% of the young people. More than half the population wants the regime to collapse.

The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has consisted in exporting the Iranian revolution by building religious-extremist terrorist proxies in other states. Iran aims to gain a political hegemonic position between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. To accomplish this, all Western forces are to be expelled from the Middle East. Israel must be destroyed.

Iran has been developing nuclear technology for decades, as well as ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. Sanctions were imposed in December 2006 pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1737 after Iran refused to comply with resolution 1696, which demanded that Iran halt its uranium enrichment program. Initially, U.S. sanctions targeted investments in oil, gas and petrochemicals, exports of refined petroleum products, and business dealings with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). They also encompass banking and insurance transactions, shipping, and IT services. Subsequent UN Resolutions have expanded sanctions against Iran.

Despite the sanctions, Iran continued to defy the resolutions. In order to contain Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was negotiated in 2015. Following the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018, Tehran has continued to develop its nuclear enrichment and ballistic missile programs. Currently negotiations are taking place in Vienna in an attempt to revive the JCPOA. It is reported that a deal has been reached, which will remove most sanctions on Iran and others associated with the regime (including the IRGC), allow Iran to recover some $100 billion in frozen assets, and potentially reach nuclear capability within a short time frame. Negotiations stalled last weekend, owing to a last-minute Russian demand that this deal not be affected by the sanctions regimes against it following its attack on Ukraine.

Israel bitterly opposes the negotiations, fearing they will only further empower Iran to achieve nuclear capabilities.

It is Iran’s aggressive revolutionary ideology makes its nuclear and ballistic missile programs so terribly dangerous. Israel and the Sunni Arab world (Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states) fully understand this. Yet it seems that the US and EU are determined to appease the Ayatollahs. In a recent article, Iranian-American political scientist Dr. Majid Rafizadeh asked the question: “Why are the Biden administration and the EU not implementing the same sanctions and policies towards Iran’s regime as they are towards Russia?” It’s a good question. The difference between the West’s approach towards Iran and Russia is indeed striking. It seems that the US and EU are determined to appease the Ayatollahs. According to Richard Goldberg at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: “Iran was cheating on the old deal from the very start and using its benefits to destabilize the Middle East. Which is exactly what they will do again, thanks to the new worst deal in history, brokered by Russia at the Biden administration’s request. It ensures the United States will face an increasingly imminent choice of military action against Iran or accepting an Iranian nuclear weapon.”

If Iran achieves nuclear weapon capability, the threat to Israel and the West will potentially be far greater than that posed today by Putin. The coming weeks and months will be critically important to see how all of this plays out.

We are living in momentous times. Let us fast and pray, like Esther, entreating the King that he will thwart the plans of this modern-day Haman, and protect Israel and the Jewish people.

And who knows but that you have come to your royal position
or such a time as this?”

 

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today


Biden on verge of making worst deal ever with Iran

Richard Goldberg in NY Post: “As the civilian death toll mounts in Ukraine, and the world prepares for unspeakable crimes against humanity yet to come, the Biden administration said Friday it’s close to announcing a Russian-brokered deal with Iran that will flood the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars and leave Tehran on the nuclear weapons threshold. While the 2015 Iran deal was bad enough, the coming deal is even worse.”
> Read more..

Why Are the Biden Administration, EU, Appeasing the Iranian Regime?

Majid Rafizadeh at Gatestone: “The Biden administration and the other members of the JCPOA nuclear deal negotiated in 2015 (China, France, Russia, the UK and Germany) — with the European Union — instead of holding Iran to account, are evidently determined to reward it. It is not quite clear for what. For years of unspeakable behavior both to its own citizens and internationally?”
> Read more..

A Final Warning from Arabs to Biden

Khaled Abu Toameh writes in Gatestone: “In what appears to be an eleventh hour and desperate warning to the Biden administration against striking a deal with the Iranian regime, four Arab countries have expressed deep concern over Iran’s ballistic missile program and ongoing support for terrorism.”
> Read more..

On eagles’ wings

Rita Quartel (C4I International) reports from Moldova: “To the unsuspecting passerby, the crowded little building in the village on the border of Ukraine and Moldova looks more like a waiting room of a busy train station than a place where refugees wait with their meager belongings for what is to come. The suitcases and travel bags may suggest a planned stay elsewhere, but nothing could be further from the truth. Since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, the village has been inundated with Ukrainians fleeing their country – often headlong.”
> Read more..

What to do with all displaced persons?

With Purim (the Jewish festival of Lots, originated 2,500 years ago) the Jews had nowhere to go. All Jews were stuck in the empire of Ahasuerus and Haman, which stretched from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces (Esther 1:1). Haman ordained in the Book of Esther that all Jews had to be killed. Ultimately, they were saved from Haman’s claws and the Jews moved back to Israel, after the Babylonian exile where they were permitted by king Cyrus to build the second Temple.
> Read more..

Christians for Israel helped many Jews across the border of Ukraine in the last weeks. In these days we see the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:8-9 being fulfilled, watch this inspiring video!

 

SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:

Esther 4

When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it.In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.
So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.
Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.