The irony and the timing are nearly too merciless.

I’m referring to the latest involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman within the brutal and bloody homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

What do I imply by irony?

This occurred on February 26 – exactly because the Jewish world entered the vacation of Purim.

Purim is the commemoration of the failed try of Haman, the adviser to the Persian king Ahasuerus, to destroy the Jewish group of Susa and all of Persia. We inform how Mordecai and Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia, thwarted Haman’s genocidal plans.

It is a boisterous celebration, crammed with parody, satire, a sure awkwardness – and noisemakers drowning Haman’s title in historical past.

Irony? That on the day we have fun the autumn of an tried homicide within the outdated Center East, the Biden administration was principally saying it was going to present MBS – an actual assassin – a “free launch” card. .

Let’s put it this fashion.

Haman didn’t shed a single drop of blood.

MBS managed to spill many drops of blood.

This story proves what now we have at all times recognized. Despotism is alive and nicely within the Center East and in lots of different locations world wide.

And, as Donald Trump as soon as hinted, while you’re wealthy, you will get away with homicide.

Let’s wander deeper into the cave of irony.

Throughout the 2020 presidential marketing campaign, President Biden known as Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state with no “redemptive social worth”. He was completely proper, and each human rights group worthy of its NGO standing would echo it, and extra.

So why the Biden administration, to cite Nicolas Kristof, “Let a Saudi assassin stroll?”

It is known as realpolitik. We want the Saudis and the Sunnis due to Iran – which, in fact, is the fashionable title for historical Persia. Realpolitik is simply one other method of claiming that we stay in an unredeemed world, the place selections are not often sharp and by no means attain us in a field with a ribbon tied.

Within the fashionable Center East, as in lots of life conditions, the enemy of my enemy is my good friend.

However let me escape the small print of this incident and are available to much more severe thought.

For many people who’ve backed his candidacy, this can be the primary time the Biden administration has dissatisfied us – on a deep matter of precept. There could have been different occasions earlier than that as nicely.

It will not be the final time. Our leaders at all times disappoint us and at all times betray our honest beliefs.

Right here is the biblical evaluation of kings (and generally queens):


Check out the file.

  • Saul, the primary of the Israelite kings, was a complete failure – a damaged man.
  • David, his successor, was a corrupt and adulterous assassin.
  • Solomon was a egocentric individual, whose in depth imposition in the end led to the division of the dominion between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judea.

The kings of this northern kingdom? Ahab – as to Ahab and Jezebel, with their murderous idolatry and their appropriation of the land of Naboth? A few of these kings of Israel had been even worse.

As a thinker Moshe halbertal wrote, in his evaluation of King David:

This obsessive fixation on the means and traps of energy, whatever the higher or lesser targets it could serve, defines not solely the psychic lifetime of many who wield nice political energy, but in addition the best way during which politics is. institutionally structured to assist and safe the privileges and capacities of the chief. Each time the upkeep of excessive workplace, reasonably than realizing an ideological imaginative and prescient or implementing a political program, turns into the dominant goal of politics, sovereign energy turns into for its holder an finish in itself, even whether it is. it’s publicly justified as a method of guaranteeing collective safety.

They’re “Jewish” kings. Overseas kings? Uh – Pharaoh? King Ahasuerus, who’s the image of incompetent royalty?

(Actually, while you take a look at the Bible, the one “good” rulers occur to be pagan rulers: King Hiram of Tire, who helped construct the traditional temple, and Cyrus of Persia, who invited the Jews to his area to return to the land of Israel and restore Jewish sovereignty there).

So, sure – along with his non-action on MBS, President Biden has dissatisfied loads of us.

He’ll proceed to take action.

As a result of that is what sovereigns do.

That is exactly why the Jewish custom produced the prophets. Isaiah, Amos, Jeremiah, Elijah, Nathan, and so forth. That they had an nearly congenital must criticize kings, clergymen and commoners.

However, above all and extra deeply, the kings. As Frederick Buechner as soon as stated: There isn’t any proof {that a} prophet was ever invited again to dinner.

So what is going to Jews and different spiritual do for the subsequent 4 years?

That is exactly what now we have been doing over the previous 4 years – and the previous 2,500 years.

The job description of the spiritual individual is to not be a cheerleader, however to be a considerate critic. It have to be inappropriate – for whoever is in energy.

So far as human rights are involved, there is just one clear place. To defend the human being, made within the picture of God.

Sure, apparently we “want” the Saudis – similar to King Solomon wanted all these diplomatic ties that led to so many marriages he in all probability wanted an app simply to determine it out.

On the very least, let’s face it.

And, on the very least, spiritual organizations should converse out in opposition to the violation of human rights.

Particularly if now we have supported and supported this president.

Numerous human lives are at stake.

And so is our integrity.

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