2018-02-14 / Editorial

Sometimes it takes a festive holiday to remind us of the sobering reality

In today’s 24-hour news cycle, where the top story gets old quickly, the public’s attention span is often a short one. The media—print, digital, social— move from one story to another. Sometimes, it takes a Jewish holiday to remind us of one story that will not go away anytime soon. That is the case with the holiday of Purim and the story of Iran.

Purim, which begins this year on Wednesday, Feb. 28, recalls the story of the heroic Queen Esther, her cousin Mordechai, and how they saved the Jews of Persia from the evil designs of Haman. One of the most festive moments in the Jewish year, Purim celebrates a victory of the Jewish people over our oppressors 2,500 years ago. The Jews of Persia were almost lost, but the designs of our enemies were thwarted.

The fact that the ancient Persian Empire was located where Iran sits today brings the danger modern Iran presents to Israel, the Jewish people, and the world immediately to mind. This reminder is a very good thing.

Since the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979, Iran’s leadership has spent 40 years exporting terror around the world. It has oppressed its own people. It has also worked diligently to develop a nuclear arsenal. It has threatened its Muslim neighbors, Europe, and the United States with destruction.

Israel, however, has been the country most consistently in the crosshairs of the Iranian leadership. Through Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, missiles have rained down on Israel, forcing Israel into a 34-day war in 2006 as well as other periodic battles with Hezbollah. All reports indicate that not only has Hezbollah rebuilt its missile capacity, maintaining tens of thousands of rockets capable of reaching most of Israel, but Iran has also built weapons factories in Lebanon to supply Hezbollah with the latest military technology. All this is going on with Iran’s nuclear capability lurking in the background.

With Israel facing danger on its borders—and certainly no lack of threats elsewhere in the world—now is not the time to take a break from history. Like Esther and Mordechai in ancient Persia, now is the time for Israel’s friends to rally to its side. 

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