COMMENTARY | Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has returned to his home country with very little but vague reassurances from President Barack Obama that the U.S. would not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, according to AFP.
But Netanyahu has not given Obama any assurance Israel wouldn't strike at Iran before the presidential election. He did give the president a scroll with the Story of Esther on it, according to Reuters. The scroll is read from during the Jewish holiday of Purim. It was a not-so-subtle way of reminding Obama about the stakes Israel faces in the crisis with Iran.
The Story of Esther recounts how the Queen of Persia, a Jewish woman named Esther, saved her people from a plot by the Grand Vizier Haman to massacre every Jew in the Persian Empire.
The presentation of the scroll is meant to underscore the seriousness with which Israel regards the threat by Iran as well as to provide another lesson in Jewish history for Obama. It has been the fate of the Jews, dating from the Philistines to Hitler and now the modern Islamist terrorists, to have enemies who want to slaughter them. This history is engrained into the psyche of people like Netanyahu, something practically in their DNA.
The fact Netanyahu had to give Obama such a reminder illustrates the gulf between the two. Obama regards the drive by Iran as another headache whose major consequence is to threaten his re-election. Netanyahu knows Iran's desires constitutes a threat of a new holocaust, this time to the blinding light of mushroom clouds rising over Tel Aviv and Haifa, doing the work Hitler attempted for years in one, horrible instant.
A president who understood this would not have tried to lecture his political opponents about the issue of war and peace, as he did at his press conference, according to CBS News. Instead he would do two things. First, he would martial America's military might and prepare a joint operation to destroy Iran's capacity to not only create a nuclear weapon but to annoy its neighbors. Then he would do everything possible to increase American oil production, the better to minimize the energy shock that would follow.
Apparently Obama is doing neither of these things. Perhaps it is because it is he and not his GOP opponents who regard this matter as a game.
- President Barack Obama