Sunday, August 26, 2012

Well, the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement is coming up. It's being held in Iran, and it's going to be a hoot. First, the whole idea of the NAM is a Cold War relic, a pro-Soviet farce, if I may be so bold. Naturally, the UN Secretary General will be attending, a happy guest of the mullahs and Ol' Squinty. Finally, Doctor-of-Holocaust-Denial Abbas is all upset, as the Hamas Prime Minister has been invited to attend on behalf of the fictional state of "Palestine," which, natch, is a long-standing member of the NAM. Abbas would like you to know, echoing the hackneyed official UN phrase from many decades back, that "the PLO [remember them?] is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people." (Oh, we rightists used to hate that line. Now that the alternative is Hamas...)

Well, technically, he's correct, as I assume that in usual international bureaucratic fashion, the UN has never actually repealed or amended that resolution. But Abbas seems to have forgotten that he's not only the head of Fatah and the PLO, but of the Palestinian Authority and the aforementioned "state." (This is forgivable, as the actual differences between any of these, at least on the West Bank, are minimal to nonexistent.) I imagine they thought they were being clever (or at least doing what was required) when they had themselves admitted to all these international organizations as a state and not an organization. Now that he has no real legitimate authority, Abbas has decided to time travel back to 1964. That sound? The world's smallest violin.
My cousin Zev Eleff has a very good piece up at Jewish Action. One line, though, struck my eye: After describing Abraham Karp's research for his famous article about New York's attempt to have a chief rabbi, Zev writes that the papers Karp used subsequently disappeared.

This fed into a silly idea I once had: It seemed to me that every single mention of the chief rabbi debacle in any scholarly article referenced Karp's piece, and only Karp's piece. It led to my wondering whether it was possible that Karp made the whole thing up. Impossible, I know: There has to be other evidence out there. I know, on a logical basis, that I have to be wrong and, as I said, the idea is silly. But that almost throwaway comment in the Eleff article doesn't make it any easier to concede to the logic. :-)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Random thought

This may have occurred to me before, but I noticed something interesting when saying Maariv Friday night: Hashkivenu lists "plague, sword, famine" among the things we ask to have prevented. I wonder if there's any connection, direct or not, to the fact that that's (according to some readings) three of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.