Obama Is Haman, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Says
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of the West Bank town of Efrat, compared US President Barack Obama to Haman, the archenemy of the Jewish people from the biblical Book of Esther.
Riskin made the inflammatory statement while speaking at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue Saturday night, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“The President of the United States is lashing out at Israel just like Haman lashed out at the Jews. I’m not making a political statement. I’m making a Jewish statement,” Riskin said.
A woman in the audience reportedly shouted out that Riskin was being disrespectful to the president. She was loudly booed by the crowd.
“I am being disrespectful because the President of the United States was disrespectful to my Prime Minister, to my country, to my future and to the future of the world,” Riskin responded.
As for Netanyahu’s snub of Obama with his speech in the well of the US Congress that alienated many Democrats – even many Jewish Democrats – Riskin said he was “proud” of Netanyahu for giving the speech “even if” the speech – which was arranged behind the president’s back – “angered Obama.”
Riskin also reportedly claimed that Netanyahu – who is despised by the vast majority of Israeli politicians for all parties who consider him to be self-serving, manipulative and dishonest – is like Mordechai of the biblical Book of Esther because just as Mordechai was focused on saving the Jews of Persia from destruction in biblical times, Netanyahu is focused on saving Israel and the world from destruction today.
Many senior policy analysts from both countries – including for Mossad heads – believe Netanyahu’s speech and his machinations leading up to it took support for Israel, which until now had been a longstanding bipartisan issue, and made it political and fractional – something that puts Israel’s long term security at risk - and brought US-Israel relations to the lowest point they have been in many decades.
In rabbinic thought, Haman is considered the archenemy of the Jewish people, the prototype for all anti-Semites who followed after him – like for example, Hitler.
Rabbinic literature also identifies Haman as a descendant of Amalek, the biblical nation Jews are commanded to completely wipe out in every generation.
Being labelled a “Haman” or “Amalek” has led to violence in the past – something Riskin certainly knows.
Even so, Riskin – the former head rabbi of the Modern Orthodox Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan and a graduate of Yeshiva University's rabbinical school – failed to issue a call for nonviolence.