The Jerusalem Post reports that Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, recently compared President Obama to Haman the Agagite, who planned to destroy all Jews, as is chronicled in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament.
“The president of the United States is lashing out at Israel just like Haman lashed out at the Jews,” the American-born rabbi said, adding, "I’m not making a political statement, I’m making a Jewish statement.”
The report states that a woman protested the rabbi's comment but was shouted down by the crowd. Riskin then said, "“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 went on to compare Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Mordecai from the same story in Esther. In the biblical account, Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, who had just been promoted to a higher status under King Ahasuerus. This enraged Haman, who not only vowed death to Mordecai, but the annihilation of all Jews. However, Haman's plan was foiled after Queen Esther revealed that Mordecai had thwarted a murderous plot against the king. Upon learning this, King Ahasuerus ordered Hamas to be hanged from the very gallows built for Mordecai.
JP noted that Riskin said he was "proud" of Netanyahu for speaking to Congress "even if it angered Obama." Riskin went on to say that a great tragedy for Israel is the entangling of the rabbinate in politics.