The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his recent Purim message responded to the continued threats of annihilation of Israel by the enemies of the Jewish state by reminding them of the biblical story of Haman. Haman obtained an irreversible decree to kill all the Jews in Persian and confiscate their properties. But before the date of execution, God intervened and Haman, his sons and the enemies of the Jews were killed instead. You know the story very well. We will come back to it later. Yes, I so much admire the dedication, love and courage of Bibi (as he is fondly called) to the cause of Israel. He is always ready to do everything necessary to protect and advance the interests of the Jewish state, especially the policy of never to allow the people go through the threats and victimization of the past. I see Benjamin Netanyahu in the mould of Moses, Joshua, Gideon and Samson. And thanks to his family that gave Israel three indefatigable brothers – Yonatan, Benjamin and Iddo that served in the elite IDF Special Forces, sacrificing their comfort and life. They left the comfort as the children of an American professor and training in Ivy colleges, migrated and joined the Israeli forces in the 60s and have played exceptional roles in defending the Jewish nation and its people.
Though this piece is not about the Netanyahus, but we will forever remember the sacrifice of the indomitable Yonatan ‘Yoni’ Netanyahu; that young Israeli Special Forces commander that successful led the rescue of about hundred Jewish hostages in from Entebe Airport, Uganda in 1976. That operation remains a reference in the study of rescue missions and special operations. Just go back and read the accounts again and watch the films. And you will be amazed by the professionalism, patriotism and courage exhibited by the planners and executors of that mission and what those guys could do as far back as the 70s. Ironically, only Yoni lost his life in that most-daring operation, but that was after terminating the terrorists, rescuing the hostages, sending them home. He and his men were retreating to board the plane and leave the place when he was cowardly shot by a Ugandan soldier hiding on the airport towers. The Jewish commandos went back and cleared the place immediately and also inflicted an irreparable damage to the Ugandan Air force by blowing up most of the fighter jets and equipment on ground. Because of my love for the boldness and sacrifice of Yonatan. I dedicated my book / audiobook Power of Sacrifice to him. And it is now in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Finish, Swedish, French, Dutch, Chinese, Italian, German, Afrikaans, Indonesian, etc. Yes, there is no better time to remind the enemies of the Jews of God’s covenant of protection with his people than the Festival of Purim.
As you already know the Festival of Purim is an annual event to commemorate that spectacular, miraculous deliverance of the Jews from annihilation during the reign of King Ahasuerus of the Persian Empire in 5 BC. Haman; a Jew-hater was appointed a prime minister of the empire. And when Mordecai, a Jew refused to bow to him, the proud Haman got the king to sign an irrevocable decree to kill all the Jews – young and old, infants and women and confiscate their properties in a day. But God miraculously intervened when Esther and Mordecai mobilized all the Jews throughout the empire to fast and seek divine intervention. Their enemy Haman was hanged, Mordecai (a Jew was appointed in his place), and another decree was promulgated that countered the first, empowering the Jews to defend and kill their enemies. God delivered his people from certain destruction. Since then the Jews have been celebrating this dramatic deliverance and display of divine power till date. Yes, Bibi was right to remind the enemies of Israel that the God of Purim is still alive to protect his people. And also that there is still today unwavering, commitment, determined, patriotic and fearless Jews like Esther and Mordecai to sacrifice everything, including their lives to see that nobody, no nation, no interest or gang up will ever be given that chance to humiliate or threaten the existence of Israel again. This has always been sufficiently demonstrated since the establishment of the modern Jewish State. And that policy remains unchanged. Touch Israel and you burn your fingers.