Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marked the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim to issue a warning to Iran.
Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia as recounted in the Biblical Book of Esther. According to the Hebrew calendar, Purim is celebrated on the 14th of the month of Adar, which begins the evening of 25 February this year.
“On the eve of Purim, I would like to say to those who seek our lives, Iran and its proxies in the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, another Persian villain tried to destroy the Jewish people and just as he failed then, so too will you fail today,” said the Israeli leader.
“We will not allow your extremist and aggressive regime to attain nuclear weapons. We have not made the journey of generations, of thousands of years, to return to the land of Israel in order to allow the delusional regime of the ayatollahs to end the story of the revival of the Jewish people,” vowed Netanyahu, while speaking at an official memorial ceremony for hero Yosef Trumpeldor and his comrades, who fell in defense of the Galilee town of Tel Hai in a 1920 pre-state battle with Shi’ite Muslim marauders.
Netanyahu has strongly opposed any prospective return of the United States to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran, from which former US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018. The current administration of President Joe Biden has expressed willingness to renegotiate the atomic dispute with the Islamic Republic toward through a bolstered accord, although Prime Minister Netanyahu has steadfastly maintained that the Ayatollah Regime is working toward its stated ambition to annihilate the Jewish State through pursuit of atomic weapons, and is not to be trusted under any circumstances.
According to a statement communicated by the Prime Minister‘s Media Advisor, Netanyahu continued with statements directed at Tehran: “We are not pinning our hopes on any agreement with an extremist regime such as yours. We have already seen the quality of agreements with extremist regimes such as yours, in the past century and in this one, with the government of North Korea. With or without agreements – we will do everything so that you will not arm yourselves with nuclear weapons.”
In related developments, Israel’s coronavirus cabinet authorized a nighttime curfew from 8:30pm to 5am during Purim that will remain in effect from Thursday until Sunday. Public transportation will also be operating on minimized schedules to offset festive activities in an effort to curb further spread of the disease.
In accordance with ancient tradition rooted in Chapter 9, Verse 28 of the Book of Esther, observers exchange gifts of food, make donations to charity, participate in feasts with friends and family, publicly recite the Scroll of Esther (known as the “reading of the Megillah”) and add further prayers to those normally performed after meals and throughout the day.