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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.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Israel, blah, blah, blah…. Zionists, blah, blah, blah…. Mean ol’ Sharon, blah, blah, blah… Oh, and Iraq. Well, this is somewhat interesting, perhaps even amusing, although not especially surprising: In the (so-called) “Opinion” section of today’s Arab News, four out of the five op-eds are about the accursed Zionist entity, er, Israel. The fifth editorial is about Tony Blair and Iraq, but comes courtesy not of Arab News but The Guardian. Ho hum. Well, as I’ve noted before, if Israel didn’t exist, certain folks would have to create it in order to have something to blame for various problems and ills, grrrr, and about which they can whine and complain whenever it suits them. You’d think, perhaps, that in a country the size of Saudi Arabia and in a region the size of the Middle East that there’d be at least one other topic—maybe even two!— worthy of an editorial (or four).

As can be expected, all four of the editorials focusing on Israel are fairly tendentious if not laughable. I especially like the reference in the first piece to “Jewish penetration” (snicker) and the ALL-CAPS rendering of “Baby Eye-Doc” Assad’s first name (say WHA’?).

This obvious fixation on Jews, Zionists, and Israel is reminiscent of the old quip about Israel and [select Arab country] both having pretty much the same freedoms of speech and of the press: That is, in Israel, you can criticize Israel all you want, and in [Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, etc.] you can, likewise, criticize Israel all you want! What’s not to like?!

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