WASHINGTON (AP) — In his speech before Congress, Israel’s leader has noted this week’s Purim holiday, which celebrates the Jewish people’s deliverance from a Persian leader’s genocidal plot 2,500 years ago.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Jews will read the biblical account of Queen Esther’s exposure of the plot, which enabled the Jewish people to defend themselves.
Netanyahu told Congress that Israel faces a similar threat today from Persians seeking to develop an Iranian nuclear weapon, and he vowed that Jews will protect themselves once again, even if they have to do so alone. He said the U.S. appears to be negotiating “a very bad deal” with Iran.
Addressing a packed chamber that included Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel (EL’-ee vee-ZEHL’), Netanyahu declared, “The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over!”
The lawmakers responded with a standing ovation.