From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Chomp chomp chomp. Here’s a disgusting cartoon reprinted in Al-Ahram that I almost missed. Notice the descending order of the predatory food chain: Magen David, United States, United Nations, etc. Charming. The rest of Al-Ahram is chockfull of the usual buggo idiocy and paranoid nonsense about Israel and Zionism. But, lo, hiding for their lives amidst the letters-to-the-editor are not one but two examples of that endangered and rarely sighted Al-Ahram species, the almost mythical “Intelligent Comment about Israel.”

Too absorbed
Sir-- I took a look at Al-Ahram Weekly , and it felt like I was reading the Israeli newspaper Haaretz . So many stories about the Palestinians and Israel; most of the rest dealt with Iraq.

With a population many times larger than that of the Palestinians and Israelis combined, one would think that Egypt itself would be able to generate more front-page local news stories.
Berel Dov Lerner
Kibbutz Sheluhot

Home focus
As a child of Egyptian Jewish parents, I follow news from our former home with interest. I notice that almost all of your articles are about Israel.

It seems to me that your obsession with Israel is unhealthy. Israel is not the cause of all your problems, and conflict with Israel has not solved any of them.

The chance of a brighter future for Egypt lies inside the country, not across its Eastern border.
Olivier Harari
Cambridge, MA

Well, comparing Haaretz, whatever its faults, to Al-Ahram is certainly a cheap shot against the former, and “obsession” may be a bit of an understatement here, but, gracious goodness, well said. But perhaps this was just an editorial slip-up.

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