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Did Bibi’s Purim plaint piss off both Putin and the Persians?

TJI Pick
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Published: 14 March 2017

Last updated: 4 March 2024

According to some insiders, Netanyahu's summit with Putin in Moscow did not go entirely as planned. Thanking Putin for his congratulations on the upcoming Purim holiday, Netanyahu said: ‘In ancient Persia, an attempt was made to destroy the Jewish people 2,500 years ago, and it failed. This is what this holiday celebrates. Today, ancient Persia’s successor, Iran, continues attempts to destroy the Jewish state.’ But Putin, apparently impatient at Bibi’s ancient history lesson, noted that those events had taken place ‘in the fifth century BC’, added that ‘we now live in a different world’ and suggested discussing the actual up-to-date problems in the region. The modern Persians also took umbrage.

Iranian FM chides Netanyahu over Purim spiel, says Persians saved the Jews 3 times – Raphael Ahren – The Times of Israel 12.03.17
Mohammed Javad Zarif accuses PM of spreading ‘bigoted lies’ by saying that modern Iran, like ancient Persia, is bent on annihilating the Jewish people. [That Cyrus the Great allowed Jews to return from Babylon and to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem is referred to in the Hebrew Bible, generally accepted by historians, including the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, and has some archaeological support.]

And see: Netanyahu urges Putin to block Iranian power corridor on Israel’s border – David Filipov & Ruth Eglash – The Washington Post 09.03.17
Although Russia is unhappy with some of Iran’s strategic objectives in a postwar Syria, it is unclear how far Putin would go in supporting Israeli action to prevent Iran from building a sphere of influence from Teheran to Lebanon, via Syria and Iraq.


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