Gary Epstein
And now for something completely different . . .

Jews For Haman

Embed from Getty Images

Purim is a proto-Zionist, heteronormative, cisgendered, Jewish celebration, marked by (i) a festive meal that ignores the plight of starving people in the third world, (ii) the wearing of costumes that frequently reflect cultural appropriation of the worst sort, and (iii) the reading of a scroll that celebrates the downfall of Haman, an unsung hero of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause. 

As enlightened Jews engaged in tikkun olam and committed to the eternal Jewish values of carbon neutral existence, racial equality, and cash-free bail, we choose to observe this “holiday” in the same way that we celebrate the naqba on Yom Ha’Atzmaut, the Israeli day of independence: by harassing Jews on the street, blocking major thoroughfares, bridges, and airport access roads, and shouting slogans about genocide and free Palestine that are inane and imbecilic, but frequently rhyme.  In order to show that we have not totally abandoned Jewish tradition, we wear masks. If we can find a Jew in traditional Jewish garb, we beat him up, to show our solidarity with the oppressed.

Thus we express our support for anti-Zionists such as Haman, and his contemporary counterparts, many of whom write columns for the New York Times or have names that rhyme with Meter Meinart.

As enlightened Jews, we sympathize with those who indict the State of Israel and Queen Esther as colonial, imperial rulers over lands to which they have no claim.  Queen Esther, as Queen of Persia, ruled over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, but she was actually a Jewess with roots in the ancient land of Israel, which, of course, belonged to the Palestinians by right of having moved there more than a thousand years after the events of the Purim story took place.  The Jews later returned from Persia to Zion after their expulsion from that ancient land, in which they had already resided for about 1,000 years. We find that fact irritating and we decline to take note of the reality that the Jews are indigenous to the land  and that the belated arrival of the  “Palestinians” would make them, on any rational analysis–uh–colonizers.  Rationality is overrated.

Speaking of the expulsion, it was conducted under the aegis of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.  “Nebu” means “the great.”  “Chad” means “king” or “ruler.”  “Nezzar” was the actual family name.  Note the similarity to the name “Nasser,” another one of the heroes of enlightened Jews like us.  In 1967, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran, blockaded Israel and threatened to annihilate Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.  The brutal, savage, genocidal Israelis then attacked the unsuspecting Arabs, using an unfair amount of courage, skill and military creativity. 

As enlightened Jews, we acknowledge and regret the actions of Israel, which had far-reaching consequences.  To be candid, we can not even conceive of any justification for this defensive action.  The Jewish “victory” gave the soulless infidels who are our unenlightened brethren dominion over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which by right belonged to the Palestinians, although the Egyptians and Jordanians had graciously agreed to rule over those lands until the Palestinians were able to assert their claim in a way that would not lead to their massacre at the hands of Egyptian and Jordanian forces (see “Black September”) or Israel took control of the land, whichever occurred first.

 As enlightened Jews, we applaud and endorse the actions of Nebuchadnezzar, Nasser, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, and the Palestinians.  We are appalled by the actions of the imperialist Israelis and Queen Esther.  We note that the source of the name Esther is the pagan name Astarte or Ishtar.  Ishtar, with Warren Beatty, was one of the worst movies ever made.  Just saying.

We further note that, had Nasser been as successful as his Babylonian antecedent, there would be no Israeli occupation of the West Bank. (Or Israel.) (Or Israelis.)  Need we say more?  Problem solved.

Well, we are going to say more, and we will keep saying it until the Jews, whom we love as brothers, do the right thing and surrender the land to its rightful owners, who, after all, as noted above, arrived only a mere few millennia after the aboriginal Jewish settlement of the land.  We trust that after this peaceful transition, in the highest traditions of Judaism and tikkun olam, the Israeli colonizers will agree to vanish from the face of the earth.  If not, they will have only themselves to blame for what ensues.

We are Jews who love Haman.  We note that it is those other (unenlightened) Jews who scorn him, and jeer at the mention of his derogatory name, which, coincidentally, comprises two components inimical to the spiritual and physical survival of Israel : “Ham” and “UN.”  We also note, hoping that our friends at BLM may join us in partially non-violent protest, that “Hey, Man” is an urban greeting appropriated from the black community.  But whether you pronounce it “Ham UN” or “Hey, Man,” we understand the motivation of someone who wants to erase, annihilate and extirpate the Jewish people, male and female, old and young.  Who doesn’t? 

Hamas tried to do the same thing on October 7, and the justification for their wholly understandable behavior (just ask the Secretary-General) was not so different from that of the original Haman.  Except he objected to the fact that the Jews were scattered and dispersed and Hamas objects to the fact that the Jews have a homeland.  The rationale may be different; the goal is the same.  Either way, we sympathize.

I mean, those Jews.  The ones who aren’t enlightened ones like us.  It is not anti-Semitism to hate them, because, as we look in the mirror we realize:  who wouldn’t want to wipe us out?  Indeed, it can’t be anti-Semitism, because, well, we ourselves are Jews, and until it is our turn for Hamas to come for us, we will support their intersectional, anti-colonial actions.

To those who say that we lack knowledge of Jewish history and are insensitive to Jewish rights, to those who ask us whether we are ignorant or apathetic, we respond, “We don’t know and we don’t care!”  Like Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews for Peace Now and all the other organizations useful to the Iran-supported anti-colonial freedom fighters, we flaunt our Jewish identities proudly, if a bit disingenuously, since being Jewish actually means a bit less than nothing to us.

We are proud Jews For Haman.

About the Author
Gary Epstein is a retired teacher and lawyer residing in Modi'in, Israel. He was formerly the Head of the Global Corporate and Securities Department of Greenberg Traurig, a global law firm with an office in Tel Aviv, which he founded and of which he was the first Managing Partner. He and his wife Ahuva are blessed with18 grandchildren, ka"h, all of whom he believes are well above average. He currently does nothing. He believes he does it well.