The President of the Board of Shushan Jews, Mordechai ben-Arkush (pictured far right), has been widely condemned for his statement offering “congratulations” to Haman on his appointment as Grand Vizier of Persia.
The Board’s statement noted Haman’s “divisive” policy of exterminating the Jewish people, but concluded, “We hope that Mr Haman will move to build bridges and ensure that Persia’s standing as a beacon of tolerance remains strong.”
An open wax tablet signed by over 180 young Shushan Jews called the statement “laughable”.
Its author, Esther Hilton, said: “Haman is a truly appalling man. He’s demanded that Jewish people bow down to him, and he doesn’t believe that horse-drawn carriages contribute to climate change. And he’s anti-abortion.
“How any representative of our community could wish him ‘mazel tov’ is beyond me.”
In a supplementary statement responding to the controversy, the Board admitted that it had “concerns” about Haman’s construction of a gallows intended solely for Jews, and reiterated the need “to strike a balance”. However, it said, we had to “respect the wishes of the Emperor” and noted that every other neighbouring empire had also welcomed the appointment.