Purim celebrates the perseverance of Jews against the leader of Persia – now Iran – who plotted to kill all the Jews in his domain in the 5th Century BCE. Today, Israel faces an increasingly potent threat from that same Iran, while Jews in America and around the world are being assaulted with unprecedented venom and frequency not experienced since World War II.
Escalating Iranian Danger
Iran is closer than ever to producing a nuclear weapon and missiles powerful enough to deliver a strike to the heart of the Jewish homeland. A high-ranking U.S. defense official recently testified to Congress that the Islamic Republic could make fissile material for a bomb as soon as this month. This frightening assessment is reinforced by a UN report that Iran is within striking distance of enriching uranium to the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon.
Iran also poses an ominous international threat – including to the U.S. – as it serves as the nucleus of international terrorism. Acting through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its other proxy terrorist organizations, Iran has a sordid history of sponsoring terror attacks against nations from Argentina to Kenya, and has killed hundreds of Americans. Alarmingly, Iran also is reportedly “mapping” Jews and creating kill squads to target Jews for assassination in America and around the world, if Israel pre-emptively strikes Iranian nuclear sites.
The Islamic Republic is a destabilizing force in the Middle East. The Saudi crown prince openly stated that Saudi Arabia will pursue nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear-armed Iran. Other Arab nations are expected to follow. Iran continues to develop long-range missiles with the capability of striking Europe and America. Iran’s actions are a major impetus for the growth of the Abraham Accords to increase the regional stability and peace.
Iran presents a direct threat to Israel. Iranian leaders have a long, repugnant history of Holocaust denial, including teaching children the murder of 6 million Jews never happened and sponsoring cartoon contests. Iran’s supreme leader regularly engages in Holocaust denial on Twitter, and in a recent sermon, his representative made the repulsive statement: “6 million Jews were not killed in the Holocaust; it was more like 50 or 60 Jews.”
The Iranian military plays an active role in Russia’s war against Ukraine. According to the U.S. National Security Council, Iran is “exporting violence” as it is “directly engaged on the ground and through the provision of weapons that enable Russia to kill civilians.” Iranian troops are also on the ground. A new report details a secret Russia-Iran nuclear deal that would allow uranium transfers to Tehran's illicit weapons program. This deepening relationship is a significant threat to world peace.
Increasing Attacks Against U.S. Jews
The rising level of Jew-hatred continues unabated in America. The FBI arrested a heavily armed Michigan man intent on killing all Jewish elected officials in Michigan, including the attorney general. In NY, a federal judge sentenced a man who conspired to intentionally attack Jews wearing recognizable Jewish and Israeli symbols. These dangerous plans of attack serve as an emphatic reminder that threats against Jews must be taken seriously, given the deadly consequences at the Pittsburgh and Poway, CA, synagogue shootings.
The increasing frequency of attacks against Jews is spreading wider across the country, from north to south, and east to west. Anti-Jewish graffiti is being investigated by police in Alabama and Florida. White supremacist hate groups continue to spread their message through antisemitic flyers found in the Baltimore Jewish community, on cars near a Montana elementary school and at a Cleveland State University residence hall. These acts of harassment follow Louis Farrakhan’s latest anti-Jewish tirade against American Jews. All the while, Jewish students at university campuses continue to be under threat from the political far-left and anti-Israel agitators.
Despite centuries of forced exiles, pogroms, the Holocaust and wars of annihilation waged against Israel, Purim is an important symbol of Jewish history, tradition and culture – showing that the Jewish people continue to survive against all odds and enemies. The joyous holiday includes reading of the Book of Esther (the Megillah), dressing up in costumes and eating festive meals. Many communities hold carnivals for children. Purim is a holiday that celebrates the triumph of good over evil.