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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

On circumspection

To amplify my last post a little, I think it's a fair bet that the reasons why Ashkenazi Jews are 'over-represented' in Israeli universities have more than a little in common with the reasons why they were 'over-represented' in German universities.

Dear reader, I don't need to tell you who thought that was a very bad thing and made it his business to do something about it, do I? And perhaps, rather than being overly critical of him (or indeed of the Ivy League universities which had already pioneered solutions to the problem of excessive numbers of Jewish students), we should after all see the Jews as having been the authors of their own misfortune. For, then as now, was not being too clever by half one of the most infuriating ways in which they failed to live circumspectly?

I think we ought to have that quote again in full. You might like to cut it out and frame it. This is what we learnt yesterday courtesy of the Guardian, Max Hastings and one of his best friends:-

'The experience ... of learning to live circumspectly among more numerous and powerful neighbours is a surer guarantee of survival than the triumphalist illusions of a mere 50-odd years of statehood.'

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