With brain-cudgeling predictability, Mr Netanyahu marked his meeting with Mr Obama by presenting him with a copy of the Book of Esther. That book concerns a plot by Haman, vizier of King Ahasuerus of Persia, to massacre his country's Jews, and the efforts of the beautiful Esther, Ahasuerus's secretly Jewish wife, to persuade the king to stop them. It is a version of the same narrative of repression, threatened extermination and resistance that Jews commemorate at Passover in the prayer "Ve-hi she-amdah": "Because in every generation they rise up to destroy us, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, delivers us from their hands."It almost seems that the Economist is unaware that other than the historical significance they note, the book of Esther is a fitting gift, due to it being days before Purim. However the Economist redeems itself with its next observation, which is certainly true:
Mr Netanyahu is less attractive than Esther, but he seems to be wooing Mr Obama and the American public just as effectively.