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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.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Jews’ Lack of Loyalty: A Fact that History has Proved Again and Again. A typically convoluted, in terms of both facts and logic, editorial courtesy of Arab News notes that “Sharon’s invitation to French Jews and their response have underlined a fact that history has proved again and again —the lack of loyalty Jews have for the countries they live in and whose nationals they are.” This execrable drivel about Jewish “disloyalty” and such is an historical trope of antisemitism—just ask Mordechai and Queen Esther, for example—and so it’s hardly surprising to see the millennia-old smear being spread by Arab News.

In another similarly challenged editorial, Arab News whines that Ariel Sharon and those nefarious, sneaky Zionists “have alarmed French Jewry so that these 200 new immigrants to Israel are unlikely to be the last,” as if French Jewry weren’t already perfectly aware of the atmosphere and incidents in France.” Arab News also complains that a second ramification of the immigration of these 200 people “is that Israel will be boosting its population and, by extension, the number of soldiers it can deploy against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.” Uh, right.

In other news, Harvard Divinity School will give back a $2.5 million cash gift from the president of the United Arab Emirates.

Harvard froze the donation in spring 2003, before a professor had been named, after some students raised concerns over the activities of the Abu Dhabi-based Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up. The center was officially the think tank of the Arab League, but was funded and hosted by the United Arab Emirates and named after the president.

Yesterday Rachel Lea Fish, the former divinity student who led the protest and presented school officials with 130 pages of research about the center’s activities, praised the return of the money.

Smart move on the part of Harvard Divinity School, and kudos to Rachel for spearheading this effort.

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