'With Esther, Mordechai and Purim in mind, Shai Masot, LFI, AIPAC and the notion of 'Jewish power' look like the very embodiment of a deep biblical and cultural ideology.'
Are these events connected to each other, or is it mere coincidence that the Jewish state and Jewish organisations such as AIPAC, LFI, JDL, and JVP are, time after time, caught red-handed, plotting and conspiring against other people’s regimes and political institutions?
This Book of Esther* is a biblical story that is the basis of Purim, probably the most joyous Jewish festival.
The story is set in the third year of the rule of Ahasuerus in Persia and is usually identified with Xerxes I. It is a story of palace intrigue and of a brave and beautiful Jewish queen, Esther who, at the very last minute, manages to save the Jewish people of her time.
King Ahasuerus is married to Vashti, whom he repudiates after she rejects his request that she 'visit' him during a feast and it is Esther who is selected from all the candidates to be Ahasuerus's new wife. As the story progresses, Ahasuerus's prime minister Haman, without knowing that Esther is actually Jewish, plots to have the king kill all the Jews but Esther, together with her cousin Mordecai, saves the day for her people.
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At the risk of endangering her own safety, Esther warns Ahasuerus of Haman's murderous anti-Jewish plot and Haman and his sons are hanged on the fifty-cubit gallows he had originally built for cousin Mordecai and Mordecai takes Haman's place as prime minister. Unfortunately, Ahasuerus' edict decreeing the murder of the Jews cannot be rescinded, so he issues another edict, allowing the Jews to take up arms and kill their enemies. This they do and it is this genocide that, ever since, is celebrated at Purim.
The Judaic moral of the story is clear: If Jews want to survive, they’d better infiltrate into the corridors of power. With Esther, Mordechai and Purim in mind, Shai Masot, LFI, AIPAC and the notion of 'Jewish power' look like the very embodiment of a deep biblical and cultural ideology.
However, there’s a twist. Though the story is presented as an historic tale, the historicity of the Book of Esther is largely disputed by most modern bible scholars. It is largely the lack of clear corroboration of any of the details of the story of the Book of Esther with what is known from classical sources of Persian history that has led scholars to conclude that the story is mostly, or even totally fictional.
In other words, though the Judaic moral is clear, the attempted genocide is a fiction. It seems that by telling how Jews ‘save’ themselves by infiltrating their host nation’s politics, the Book of Esther propels its readers into a collective Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PRE-TSD) and makes a fantasy of destruction into an ideology of survival.
Interestingly, the Book of Esther is one of only two books of the Bible that do not directly mention God (the other is Song of Songs). In the Book of Esther, it is the Jews who believe in themselves, in their own power, in their uniqueness, in their sophistication, in their ability to conspire, in their ability to take over kingdoms, in their ability to save themselves and in their ability to‘take down’ Sir Alan Duncan, Jeremy Corbyn andNUS leader Malia Bouattia. The only remaining question is how long will it take before the Brits and the British government grasp what they are up against.
* The following was written years ago and was published as a part of an extended article on http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/03/03/from-esther-to-aipac/