Why do smart people believe utterly incomprehensible things?
The false charge about the Bruges cafe was crazy but had glimmers of plausibility [maybe the waiter acted out.... but would a waiter who acted in that way be employed in such a prestigious place???].
But the rumor that continues to drive me nuts is the crazy one about the UK or, depending which version of this idiocy you have received, the University of Kentucky [some dimwit saw UK and thought it meant the University] dropping all teaching of the Holocaust because it would offend Muslims. For previous blogs on this topic see here
In the past 24 hours a number of smart people have asked me about this rumor. One doubted it was true. The others believed it to be fact.
While I don't doubt that there are teachers in certain school districts in the UK who tip toe around this topic because they are sitting in front of class full of students who have been told it did not happen or who have just been raised to hate Jews.
But to believe that the UK, whose leader, Churchill, rallied the world to fight when only the English Channel stood between Hitler and his country and whose forces liberated camps where they encountered survivors who looked more like cadavers than people, would drop the teaching of this topic..... that's too much.
Last night we had Leon Wieseltier here at Emory. [He spoke on Jews' perspectives on Messianism and was first rate.] A small group of us chatted about this and someone said: "People believe this because they want it to be true. " In some preverse way, that's true.
We sometimes fall into a mindset that convinces us that the world is so against us that the UK or the Univ of Kentucky, take your pick, would do this.
There are hateful people out there. There are people who hate Jews specifically. Among them are those who would wish to do great harm to Jews.
They are out there. There is, therefore, no need to create false enemies in places and situations where there are none.
Fighting real boogey people [a contradiction in terms?] is hard enough.... let's not spend our time on false ones.