Netanyahu and Obama in Washington .
(photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
A Center for American Progress Mideast writer Matt Duss generated
criticism on Wednesday for a tweet that praised an article slamming
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu for "religious incitement" because he
gave President Obama the Book on Esther for the Purim Holiday.
Duss later clarified his tweet by issuing a statement saying, "The Iranian regime
regularly states as a goal the destruction of the state of Israel, and therefore, Israel clearly has legitimate concerns about Iran and its nuclear ambitions. My tweet only meant to say that biblical analogies may be unhelpful to the current moment if they do not distinguish the Iranian regime from all Iranians. Of course, I did not mean to suggest criticism of the story of Esther."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who had a conference call with CAP officials on Thursday, told The Jerusalem Post
that the tweet was discussed. "I explained during the call that what
spurred my comment was the fact that last Purim there were
demonstrations in front of Esther and Morechai's Mausoleum in Shushan
who depicted the book of Esther as the story of a Jewish genocide
against Persians. This was followed by online discussions in Farsi
pushing this perversion of history."
"The Bottom line is that the young generation of bloggers and tweeters, must be
for their words...and in this case the parroting of someone else's
words depicting the gift of Megillat Esther as 'religious incitement' is
a slur against a religion and the leader of Israel. I am happy to hear
that this was not Mr. Duss's intention but it was also clear that in
referencing Robert Wright's disgusting article, he knew virtually
nothing about Purim."
It was agreed during the conference call
that Cooper will be meeting with CAP officials in the near future to
discuss the comments from their writers toward Israel and Jews which
have been construed as being anti-Semitic or anti-Israel.