President Shimon Peres described Iran’s president as “a modern-day Haman,” during a meeting with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef on Tuesday.
Despite comparing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the ancient Persian official who sought to eradicate all the Jews in the empire in the fifth century BCE, Peres said that “we would be happy to be rid of him through non-military means.”
Peres’s comments came during a holiday visit to Yosef’s sukkah. The meeting was part of the president’s yearly visits to the sukkot of Israel’s current and past chief rabbis.
In an early September meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, Peres compared Ahmadinejad to another enemy of the Jews saying that “not since Hitler has there been a leader like Ahmadinejad, who openly calls for the annihilation of a people.”
Last week, while decorating the sukkah at the President’s Residence, Peres blasted Ahmadinejad’s speech at the UN, in which the Iranian leader claimed that the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is only 60-70 years old.
Peres said that the speech was proof of the Iranian leader’s “profound historical ignorance” and that Ahmadinejad needs to be taught a history lesson about the ancient Persian king Koresh, who “more than 2,500 years ago allowed the Jews … to return to Israel and rebuild their home.”