Bibi's Gift to Barack

(Image Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a gift to President Obama: The Book of Esther.

Aides to the Israeli politician referred to the book as "background reading" on Iran for President Obama, the Jewish Daily Forward reports.

For those not acquainted with the book, it is read on the Jewish Holiday of Purim, which begins tonight. It tells the story of a plot by Persians to exterminate the Jewish people.

The villain is named not Mahmoud or Ali but "Haman."

In the end, the Jews - helped by a benevolent gentile king - are victorious.

"Bibi" Netanyahu drew the comparison when he landed back in Israel today, but said Israel today is the master of its fate and has good friends that will stand by its side "at all times."

"I return from a very important visit to the US and Canada  I was received warmly, we have many courageous friends.  We are returning for Purim, and this evening we will read in the Book of Esther about those days in which Jews were not masters of their fate and could not defend themselves.  Today we are in a different world and a different era; we have a strong state and army.  The threats have not disappeared, but we can defend ourselves.  We have very many friends that stand at our side and will do  so at all times."

-Jake Tapper and Alexander Marquart