Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Good Question - Yemen and Gaza: Why the Different Reactions?

...But the almost certain silence in the United Nations about the attack on the refugee camp in Yemen is worth recalling the next time Israel is attacked for doing far less to protect itself. I don’t know the details about the Saudi attack, and perhaps it was carried out with care and precision. The point is, no one is going to bother to find out.

Elliott Abrams..
Pressure Points..
31 March '15..






The Washington Post reported this today:

An airstrike killed dozens of people Monday at a camp for displaced people in northern Yemen, in what appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi ­Arabia-led coalition sent warplanes to target Shiite insurgents advancing across the country.

As many as 40 people died and about 200 were wounded in the attack on the Mazraq camp in Hajjah province, said Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, which runs aid programs at the facility.

The Yemeni Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, accused the Saudi-led coalition of hitting the camp, located in an area under the control of the insurgents. Saudi officials did not confirm that. But, asked about the bombing, Saudi Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, a coalition spokesman, asserted that the rebels were setting up positions in civilian areas and said that coalition warplanes had taken fire Monday from a residential area, forcing a “decisive response,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

So, taking fire from a civilian area in which shooters were hiding, the Saudis struck back. When Israel does that in Gaza, where it is the common practice of Hamas to hide in and shoot from civilian areas, and to store weapons in schools and hospitals (including those run by the United Nations), what happens? Israel is universally condemned. UN investigation commissions are appointed, and reports such as the egregious “Goldstone Report” (officially, the “The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict”) are issued. The UN Security Council holds special sessions, and the UN Human Rights Council adds additional “hate Israel” meetings to its usual list.

I cannot recall an incident where Israel struck at a refugee camp and killed 40 people all at once, also injuring 200 others, but I am willing to bet on the world reaction to this Saudi attack: zero. No meetings, commissions, no reports.

The other Iran, the one with less need of Swiss hotel rooms and press conferences

...Is it paranoia if they say at every opportunity they really are out to attack your home and community? And they have colossal means of doing so?

One of a collection of snapshots published in
December 2014 on an 
Iranian military website
 under the headline "We come..." depicts

uniformed Iranian soldiers touring southern
 Lebanon, close to the 
border with
 Israel [
Iranian source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
31 March '15..

Israel, and especially our country's border zone, is often described as tense. This might seem odd so long as no actual shooting or rocket firing is taking place. Some might see it as paranoia, maybe even war-mongering. But it's less so to Israelis. Many of us understand that the general level of a population's anxiety is a function of the extent to which real and physical threats are reported. If you don't know they are there, or choose to look in the other direction, you may feel more relaxed. But that does not mean there are no enemies, or that they are not deployed out there.

Here's part of a chilling news report about our northern border ("Iranian troops advance towards Israeli border") from yesterday's Times of London:

Iran is close to putting its forces on Israel’s northeast border for the first time, as its allies crush rebel groups in the Golan Heights area of Syria. The prospect of Iranian troops being posted on a frontier that has been calm for decades is causing alarm in Israel, and comes as international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear ambitions near a climax.
Iran will be so close to the Israelis that it will no longer need long-range missiles to hit them,” said Abu Ali, a fighter with Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah organisation who has served multiple combat tours in Syria...

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

(Video) Privileged Hatred: Students for Justice in Palestine

peaceandtolerance.org..
28 March '15..

Students for Justice in Palestine is a growing activist group on American and Canadian universities. It attracts Islamic extremist and radical Leftist activists to campuses for events that demonize and delegitimize Israel and Jews.


apeacet

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rool4bFqg9o

Americans for Peace&Tolerance - Promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America. Learn more at www.peaceandtolerance.org/

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Guardian headline titled ‘Palestinian terrorists attempted to kill thousands of Israeli civilians in 2014′?

We of course don’t ever expect to see a Guardian headline titled ‘Palestinian terrorists attempted to kill thousands of Israeli civilians in 2014′, because, as former AP correspondent Matt Friedman argued, the media operate under the assumption that the only party that matters in covering the conflict is Israel, and thus Palestinians can only exist as passive victims of Israeli aggression.

Adam Levick..
ukmediawatch.org..
30 March '15..

The belief, held by the overwhelming majority of Jewish Britons, that the UK media’s coverage of Israel fuels antisemitism, is largely based on the manner in which headlines, text and imagery in reports on Palestinian casualties imputes Israeli guilt (and malevolence) by failing to provide balance and relevant context.

A March 27th Guardian article by Mairav Zonszein (a contributor for the far-left web magazine +972) represents a prime example of this consistent journalistic failure.



In addition to the misleading headline, the accompanying text provides almost no background on the circumstances surrounding the more than 2,000 Palestinian fatalities.

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Time for a nice quiet sleep? The countdown to a nuclear Iran deal

...Everything we have seen about the Iran nuclear talks screams "catastrophically bad deal". Most people tune conclusions like that out. So we are reprinting here three exceptionally articulate and clear opinion pieces, all from the past 24 hours, as our contribution to keeping readers awake at night, at least tonight.


Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
30 March '15..

The negotiations for an agreement that will curb (in some sense) Iran's nuclear program and free Iran (in some sense) from international sanctions that have squeezed its economy are, by general consensus, in their final 24 hours.

The pressure-cooker atmosphere stems from a March 31 "soft" deadline that Iran and the P5+1 group imposed on themselves in November 2014 to achieve (in some sense) a general agreement. The more detailed terms (in some sense) are to be signed off by June 2015.

No one would purchase an apartment with this degree of uncertainty and flexibility about what was agreed. It's bizarre, and that's before we take the cataclysmic scale of the dangers into account.

Today it got meaningfully worse. The Iranians pulled what one commentator we respect calls "a last minute bait-and-switch". The background is in today's New York Times ["Iran Backs Away From Key Detail in Nuclear Deal"], but Omri Ceren sums it up better than they do. The Iranians, in his words:

bargained up their centrifuge numbers for months by saying that they'd ship out whatever material they enriched, the assumption being that who cares how much uranium they enrich to 3.5% as long as they don't have it physically available to enrich further. Now that they've ratcheted up the number of centrifuges to over 6,000, they're saying they won't ship out the material... it looks like the administration got outplayed by Persian negotiators… again.

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

What the Amnesty Report on Palestinian Violations in Gaza Tells Us

...When the BBC voiceover mentioned that "Israel has denied it was responsible for this," it was only as a set-up for a distraught Palestinian mother to immediately parry: "Then who fired it? I ran outside and found my daughters. If the Israelis didn't do it, who did? Did my daughters launch the rocket?" No. But Palestinian fighters did. And if the BBC journalists responsible for this segment were more concerned with professional reporting, they would have, and could have, come closer to providing their viewers with the truth.

Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
27 March '15..

If Amnesty International is seen as one of the "most prestigious" international NGOs, it is also thought to harbor "a consistent institutionalized bias against Israel." It is particularly interesting, then, that Amnesty this week released a report blaming Palestinians for a much-publicized incident that resulted in the deaths of Palestinian children and other civilians during last summer's war between Hamas and Israel.

On July 28, 2014, explosions rocked the Shati refugee camp and the nearby Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip. It was at the former location, on a street filled with children, that the most horrific damage was done. According to the Amnesty report, 13 civilians, 11 of them children, were killed as a result of a projectile that struck the camp. Officials in Gaza immediately blamed Israeli aircraft for the strike. Israel quickly responded, saying it was a Palestinian rocket, aimed at Israel but misfired, that hit the camp. Israeli spokespeople even shared an image purporting to show the source and trajectory of the misfired rockets.

At the time, many journalists covering the incident hedged their bets, reporting that the adversaries "traded blame," that Hamas accused and Israel denied, or that Hamas denied the validity of Israel's denial. But Amnesty now concludes that "the available evidence indicates that 13 Palestinian civilians were killed in the al-Shati refugee camp on 28 July as a result of a rocket fired from within the Gaza Strip," and, more specifically, states that "an independent munitions expert who examined … evidence told Amnesty International that it strongly indicated that the projectile was a Palestinian rocket."

As flawed as Amnesty and this specific report might be, the assessment, coming from an organization considered especially hostile to Israel, compellingly reinforces Israel's account of the events at the Shati camp and draws into sharper focus several important points.

Here are some takeaways:

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Some thoughts concerning the Palestine Project’s flood libel

...The promotion of Edmondson’s post by “The Palestine Project” and prominent activists like Abunimah and Blumenthal is just another example illustrating an argument I have often made: “pro-Palestinian” antisemitism is not a bug, but a feature, because when your agenda is demonizing the world’s only Jewish state as too evil to be allowed to exist, you will inevitably end up using exactly the same methods and themes as those who have demonized Jews throughout the centuries.


Petra Marquadt-Bigman..
The Warped Mirror..
28 March '15..

When something bad happens, antisemites have always known whom to blame. So it was little wonder that, when Gaza was flooded after heavy rainfalls last month, the Palestinians would blame Israel and “the Jews” for maliciously opening entirely imaginary dams – and it was hardly surprising that some major media outlets didn’t hesitate to publish this story without even a minimum of fact-checking. While some of the worst offenders ultimately withdrew the story and AFP even dedicated a separate report to “dispelling the myth about Israeli ‘dams’,” professional anti-Israel propagandists were only too happy to spread what quickly became known as the “flood libel.”

Veteran anti-Israel activists Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal both tweeted a link to a post featured on a website run by “The Palestine Project,” which rejected Israeli statements that there are no dams that could be opened to flood Gaza as a “myth.”


Since both Abunimah and Blumenthal like to claim that they can be trusted to provide accurate and factual information, one should expect that they noticed that the post they linked to was prominently identified as a previously published post from another blog, and that they checked out the provided link to the original.

What they cannot abide is Israel's success

...As with so many other aspects of the disdain and demonization that Israel experiences in international relations, what bothers the hostile side has very little to do with Palestinian suffering. What they cannot abide is Israel's success. There's a name for the sort of activism.

They know most people will never bother to
check the facts behind
the allegations
 [Image Source: 
A March 23, 2015 RT article]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 March '15..

We live in a country where water is a key enabler, and limiter, of habitation and success. Israel's approach to storing, treating, transporting, recycling and desalinating water is admired throughout the civilized world. It's a heroic aspect of Israel's unique history, and one of the most significant reasons why resource-poor postage-stamp-sized Israel does so well in so many different ways.

A Reuters syndicated report ["Fighters target vital water plants across Middle East: Red Cross"] published this past Wednesday seemed to be dealing with the way terrorists, who by definition, respect no red lines, are targeting water supply resources. "Militants", it says, using a common euphemism for terrorists, "in Syria, Iraq and Gaza have also used access to water and electricity supplies as "tactical weapons or as bargaining chips," the ICRC said in a report."

Reuters then seizes on an instance to prove the point:

Gaza's only power plant was damaged during the 2014 war between Israel and Palestinian militants. The Gaza Company for Generating Electricity said an Israeli tank shell hit the main fuel tanks, taking out almost all capacity.

Electricity is vital to the effective management of water. So if "an Israeli tank" eliminated the capacity of the regime now ruling Gaza, Israel stands behind Gaza's water crisis. Right? No, not at all right, and understanding the real reasons why Gaza is chronically out of electric power is essential to making sense of allegations like the one we just saw. (We will come back to it here another time.)

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Surprise! President Carter and Israel–Again

...So: Egypt is maintaining a strict blockade on Gaza, Hamas calls it a “crime against humanity,” Israel offers to lift its blockade in return for a five-year truce…and President Carter wants more international pressure on Israel and does not even mention Egypt’s blockade when he discusses Gaza’s problems and their possible solutions.


Elliott Abrams..
Pressure Points..
29 March '15..

Jimmy Carter writes about (that is to say, against) Israel once again in The Washington Post today, in a column entitled “Rebuild Gaza.”

Why is Gaza not being rebuilt? Two reasons. First, Carter says, because Hamas and Fatah are fighting and donors are not delivering: “The $5.4 billion pledged for rebuilding was predicated on the Palestinian Authority asserting itself in Gaza. However, relations between Hamas and its political rivals, Abbas’s Fatah party, remain fraught. The authority has proven unwilling or unable to govern in Gaza. As a result, the promised reconstruction money has not been delivered.” True enough. Unless and until donors pony up the cash they promised, there will be little rebuilding. Carter’s solution is international pressure “to implement reconciliation agreements between Fatah and Hamas.” (He does not seem to realize that this “reconciliation” between the PA and a terrorist group would doom any possible negotiations between Israel and the PA, but that’s a different subject.)

Then Carter adds this second explanation for Gaza’s troubles:

The shortage of funds is the most immediate problem, but it is not the only one: Israel has restricted access to Gaza….

So he calls for “sustained pressure…to end Israel’s closure of Gaza. It is incumbent on the world to engage at the highest levels with the Palestinians, Egypt and Israel to push this process forward.”

That sentence is the sole reference to Egypt, and it shows what is wrong with Carter’s analysis. The fact is that Gaza has a border not only with Israel, but with Egypt, and that border with Egypt has been closed by the government in Cairo–for security reasons, as it fights Hamas smuggling and terror in the Sinai. Here’s what Hamas said about all this recently, according to the Jerusalem Post:

(Full Film in HD) The J Street Challenge

...The J Street Challenge is an important and timely documentary about a significant issue facing the American Jewish community. Since it was founded in 2008, J Street's idealistic message has attracted many Jews, young and old, who are frustrated by the Middle East conflict and sincerely want peace between Arabs and Jews. J Street has been a subject of controversy. Critics claim that J Street has divided the Jewish community and weakened American Jewish support for Israel. "The J Street Challenge" lets viewers hear both sides of this important debate over the elusive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

apeacet..
23 March '15..

The J Street Challenge is an important and timely documentary about a significant issue facing the American Jewish community.

Since it was founded in 2008, J Street's idealistic message has attracted many Jews, young and old, who are frustrated by the Middle East conflict and sincerely want peace between Arabs and Jews. J Street has been a subject of controversy. Critics claim that J Street has divided the Jewish community and weakened American Jewish support for Israel. "The J Street Challenge" lets viewers hear both sides of this important debate over the elusive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The film explores the reasons for J Street's appeal, as well as the diverse and at times contradictory motivations of its leaders and followers. The film is being released at a critical time for the American Jewish community given the intense efforts by the United States to resolve the conflict and influence the community's leadership to support these efforts. The Kerry peace initiative has further divided the Jewish community, with J Street working to weaken the influence of AIPAC while strongly backing the administration.



The film includes distinguished scholars and writers from a wide political spectrum, including Harvard professors Alan Dershowitz and Ruth Wisse, Rabbi Daniel Gordis of the Shalem College in Jerusalem, Caroline Glick, Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post, Professor Richard Landes of Boston University, Lenny Ben David -- former Israeli diplomat and author, and Bret Stephens, Pulitzer prize winning columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zDZ-BjEisc

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Over 100 Years of Chronic Arab Rejectionism

The history of the Arab-Israeli conflict reveals 24 major junctures when compromise was offered since the 1920s, dating from pre-state, League of Nations Mandate to the present time. Plan after plan, including patently pro-Arab proposals, were put on the table. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, 15 agreements and memorandums have been signed. This piece examines those agreements and Arab response or compliance in each case.


Eli E. Hertz..
MythsandFacts.org..
28 March '15..











“The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.“
Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban

Arab claims that the Israeli “Occupation” prevents peace is nothing more than a red herring. It is not “The Occupation” that Arabs reject; it is Israel 's right to exist as a Jewish, sovereign and legitimate political entity.

What prevents achieving peace is Arab rejectionism, which began in the 1880s when the first Jewish immigrants returned to the land of Israel . 1 Since the 1920s, long before the establishment of Israel or the 1967 Six-Day War, Palestinian Arabs have used a combination of diplomatic moves and violence, particularly terrorism 2 against Jewish civilians, effectively rejecting every form of compromise.

At the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the Arab world's refusal to accept a non-Muslim political entity in the Middle East.

Peace requires an Arab world that recognizes Israel as a legitimate political entity. Legitimacy means a polity with viable and defendable borders where the Jews can exercise their own rights of self-determination by virtue of demographics (i.e., a Jewish majority) –hegemony that is reflected in the cultural and the political life of the Jewish nation.

The Arab refusal to recognize Israel and their attempts to destroy the Jewish state are among the defining characteristics of Palestinian society. Measures designed to destroy Israel vary from use of force (through wars, Intifadas , violent riots, revolts and terrorism) to use of economic and demographic forces (economic boycotts, demands for jobs in Israel, Palestinian infiltration into Israel without visas or other permits, and demands that Palestinian refugees from 1948 and their descendants be allowed to return to Israel). Absolute antipathy and intolerance towards non-Muslim political entities is a fate Jews shared with the Maronite Christians in Lebanon , even though Israel inhabits no more than 0.01 percent of the Middle Eastern landscape.

For almost 100 years, Palestinian behavior has been based on rejectionism and political violence. The Palestinian refugee problem created in 1948 did not spark those strategies, nor did the “Occupation” of the Territories in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War, which brought Israeli control over West Bank (Judea and Samaria ) and Gaza .

Arabs have rejected the presence of Jews with political aspirations to rebuild their ancient homeland since the advent of political Zionism. When in 1891 the number of Jewish immigrants leaving the country equaled the number of new arrivals, and nine years of Zionist endeavor, had produced barely a dozen struggling and insolvent Jewish agricultural settlements. Arab notables from Jerusalem called upon the Ottoman administration to ban Jewish immigration and the sale of land to Jews. 3

At each juncture when attempts to reach a ‘live-and-let-live' solution have been advanced, Arab responses have boiled down to a two-pronged offensive that dovetails diplomacy with violence. In short, the Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, have refused to recognize Israel as a legitimate entity or to negotiate genuine compromise. Instead, they have tried to drive the Jews out through violence and terror.

(Continue Reading)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Israel must take Iran at its word

Yes, Israel must take Iran at its word and recognize that the nightmare of an Iranian regime able to back its rhetoric with substance will soon be its new reality. Under such circumstances, the Israelis would be foolish to respond to the threat with inaction.

Michael Rubin..
Commentary Magazine..
27 March '15..

As President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry rush to a nuclear deal that addresses few of the original issues that have sparked international concern with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, it may be useful to consider just why Israel has come to view a nuclear capable Islamic Republic of Iran as an existential threat. While there is much to criticize in the technicalities of the agreement, the consistency and frequency of Iranian threats against the Jewish state, as well as the prestige within Iran of those who have made such threats, are too often ignored.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was an unabashed racist and anti-Semite. He began his seminal essay on Islamic government—the exegesis that underlays the Islamic Revolution and Islamic Republic—by cursing the Jews. “From the very beginning, the historical movement of Islam has had to contend with the Jews, for it was they who first established anti-Islamic propaganda and engaged in various stratagems, and as you can see, this activity continues down to the present,” he declared.

Then, of course, there have been the repeated declarations about Israel’s destruction. Iranian authorities have declared the last Friday in Ramadan to be “Qods [Jerusalem] Day” and have reserved it for the most vitriolic sermons and threats. It was on Qods Day in 2001 that Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and one of the most influential regime figures, declared, “If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.” Hassan Rouhani was, of course, Supreme National Security Council chairman at the time. He applauded. Has he changed? No. One of his first actions as president was to underscore the importance of the annual Qods Day rally.

Other Iranian figures appointed by the supreme leader have also threatened to eradicate Israel by means of nuclear weapons. Why Western diplomats believe the assurances they receive in English when the supreme leader’s inner circle says quite the opposite in Persian is something someone might want to ask America’s nuclear negotiators. Likewise, while Obama seems to embrace the pre-World War I notion of secret treaties, there is no reason why the supreme leader’s fatwa against nuclear weapons should remain secret unless, of course, the assurance which Obama so often cites simply does not exist. Certainly, if the backbone of newfound trust in Iran is such a fatwa, the White House could provide its text. That it chooses not to do so again amplifies concerns that Obama has become Khamenei’s useful idiot.