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Netanyahu Gave Obama Purim Scroll on Ancient Persian Plot

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu US President Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, meets with Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave President Barack Obama a Purim Megillah scroll, which tells the story of how Jews prevailed over a plot to kill them in ancient Persia, which is present-day Iran.

Netanyahu gave Obama the gift today during a White House meeting, two days before the Jewish holiday of Purim begins.

The bulk of the discussion was on how to stop present-day Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, the Israeli leader said.

“Israel has succeeded in raising Iran to the center of our discussions,” Netanyahu told Israeli reporters in Hebrew following the meeting.

Obama’s position at the private meeting was consistent with a speech the president gave yesterday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, in which he said he’d do what is needed to protect Israel. Obama also said more time should be given to diplomatic efforts before a military strike is considered.

“Nothing that he said inside contradicted what he said outside,” Netanyahu said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Ferziger in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at

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