Not known for his subtlety, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu gave as his gift to President Obama a Scroll of Esther, which tells the ancient story of a plot by Persia - today's Iran - to annihilate the Jews. The story is the heart of Purim, which starts tonight. "Then, too, they wanted to wipe us out," he explained, adding that the book was meant as "background reading" to help fire up Americans for yet another ill-advised war of choice. Now that he's home and boasting about Israel's "many courageous friends," most of them at AIPAC, perhaps Netanyahu could do some background reading of his own. He could read the results of the first-ever poll on political opinion in 12 Arab countries, representing 84% of the Arab world, finding that Israel and the US are deemed more threatening than Iran by a 15-1 ratio. He could read the tracking by Just Foreign Policy of the many factual errors in belligerent U.S. reporting on Iran. Or he could read a criticism of the cynical ploy of using religious scripture for political purposes, and the role that religious tribalism too often plays in leading us, entirely unjustifiably, to war. He could. But our guess is he won't.
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