Rabbi Shlomo Riskin recently compared President Barack Obama to the biblical villain Haman from the book of Esther. According to Rabbi Riskin, Obama “is causing Israel to be existentially endangered” in his pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran.

The rabbi has since backed off slightly from his earlier rhetoric, saying, “Let me make it very clear: Haman is not, God forbid, President Obama.”

“Haman is Iran. My problem is President Obama seems to be making a deal that is very problematic with that Haman, and at the same time leaving Israel without a protector.”

But in a speech Saturday night at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, Riskin did compare Obama to Haman, the villain of the book of Esther who plots, unsuccessfully, to kill Persia’s Jews.

“The president of the United States is lashing out at Israel, just like Haman lashed out at all the Jews,” Riskin said in the speech. “And I’m not making a political statement. That’s okay. I’m trying to make a Jewish statement.”

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His statements on Saturday were condemned by the North American Jewish organization, T’ruah, which began an online petition calling for an apology from Riskin.

Riskin bowed to the pressure on Wednesday, and released a statement that he had intended to only compare the relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the hate between Haman and Mordechai, the Jewish hero in the book of Esther (H/T Forward).

But we think he got it right the first time.

Share this if you think Riskin was right the first time — President Obama shows more respect for terrorists than for Israel.