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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.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Here’s an interesting news item I came across in the May 7 issue of The Forward:

While Arab U.N. delegates rail against Israel using the most caustic of terms, secret peace talks are going on between Arab heads of state and the Israeli government. The Arab rulers, who fear their citizens will react angrily to negotiations with Israel, continue to say publicly that they will recognize Israel’s right to exist. Behind the scenes, however, the same rulers have proposed a nine-point plan, the first of which is a symbolic repatriation of roughly 700,000 Arab refugees, which the rulers of the Arab countries do not want, especially since it is evident that the U.N. will not continue to fund them forever.

As familiar and relevant as this may be, the news is from The Forward’s “Looking Back” section: This news was reported fifty years ago. Today, of course, certain things remain the same, if not more so. Indeed, Arab U.N. delegates and other folks are still railing against Israel in the most caustic of terms; and the 700,000 Arab refugees, whom the myriad Arab countries did not want to rescue then or now (in contrast to the single Jewish state, which rescued hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees), have today become several million classified refugees. And this was at a time when there was not a single Israeli—soldier or settler—in the West Bank and Gaza, areas that had been made effectively Judenrein a few years earlier and that were now being illegally occupied by, respectively, Jordan and Egypt. But it seems safe to say that any worries or fears or trepidations one might have had that the U.N. was not going to fund Arab refugees (along with the refugees’ future children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.) into eternity were most certainly misplaced.

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