(Part of a Scroll of Esther from Alsace, France in a 1730 parchment at the The Israel Museum, Jerusalem)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed President Barack Obama a gift on Monday that spoke volumes about Israel’s tensions with Iran – an ancient Hebrew tome about a Persian plot to annihilate Jews.

It’s called the Scroll of Esther, a tale of palace intrigue featuring a Jewish beauty who charms a Persian king into foiling an evil adviser’s genocidal plans for her people some 2,500 years ago.

“Then too, they wanted to wipe us out,” Netanyahu told Obama, according to an Israeli official.

Jewish faithful gather in synagogues on Wednesday to read the parchment text, popularly known as the Megillah, on the eve of the Jewish costume holiday of Purim, a celebration of salvation and of turning the tables on one’s foes.