Saturday, March 11, 2006

Memo to Ahmadinejad: Read the Book

It is reported in the Toronto Star that on Monday, Jews the world over will celebrate Purim-the holiday celebrating their deliverance from a Persian prime minister who sought to ethnically cleanse the Jews out of existence. James Rudin, author of the opinion piece draws the flamingly obvious parallel between Haman, who ended up on the gallows for his trouble, and Mr. Ahmadinejad of Iran, who's been busy reinventing history inside his head.

There's one school of opinion that holds that Ahmadinejad's victory in the polls was the result of a crooked election that snatched victory from the moderates. That's the one that the westernized Iranians seem to hold to. I'd probably file that while humming "Wouldn't it be nice?"

The other school, which includes myself, believes that the results of elections are a reasonably representative slice of what voters want in a country, and that, as Jefferson intimated, people generally get the kind of government they ask for. That being the case, there's no reason to expect a change of heart any time soon from whoever's running the show in Teheran these days.

I'd suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad take a seat in his favorite easy chair, put his feet up, and read the Book of Esther. I am quite sure if a copy can't be found in Teheran someone in Israel, where they have a special department to keep an eye on guys like Ahmadinejad, weill send him a copy to refresh his memory. People who put too much stock in ethnic cleansing generally end up badly, and there's no reason to think the great weight of history would make an exception for this fellow.

As a footnote, perhaps many of today's Jews ought to take a seat in their favorite easy chairs, put up their feet and read the Book of Esther carefully as well. It is a stern and bloody tale not well suited to kids dressing up as Harry Potter.


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