The story as handed down appears in the biblical Book of Esther. The setting was ancient Persia, probably 2400 years ago. The Jewish minority was well assimilated, but viciously hated by some, including a powerful minister of state named Haman.
While the Israeli election did not change anything in terms of Israeli policy, it did severely weaken Prime Minister Netanyahu vis a vis President Obama. From now on, Netanyahu's confrontational rhetoric directed at Washington will sound tinny. It is Obama who holds the winning cards.
The prime minister's political foes still hope that Obama will wreak revenge. Perhaps, they say, the Gaza crisis will motivate America's leader to announce a bid for Israeli-Palestinian peace that would expose Netanyahu as an opponent of peace.
A dangerous situation has developed and it's surprising that it hasn't gotten more notice. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to influence the 2012 presidential election by garnering votes for his friend, Mitt Romney.
With negotiations about to start next month between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, this is hardly the moment to roil the atmosphere with saber-rattling talk.
Israel is still a democracy, and its citizens would like to keep it that way. But when Israel's friends fail to speak up against the government's assault on that democracy, it is Israel's enemies who benefit.
Obama's temerity was the functional equivalent of a wife saying to her husband, "I love you, but could you please take out the garbage once in a while?" Netanyahu, the domineering husband, blows up when he hears a "but."