Some light shed on crazy 9/11 rumors

Kenneth Quinn has an interesting piece in WaPo about whether 9/11 was supposed to be 9/18 according to original plans. For me this is interesting because it sheds some light on the preposterous rumors that surfaced after the attacks about some Jewish conspiracy regarding the events. September 18, 2001 was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which means that many/most Jews would not have been at work that day and would have averted the attacks. The rumor that spread had to do with about 4,000 Jews being saved thanks to having been told ahead of time about the tragedy and having stayed home to avoid it.

One serious concern I have always had about people’s inclination to even come close to considering those rumors legitimate is the idea that Jews live such a completely isolated life (not to mention one without any moral obligations) that they have no non-Jewish friends or family, nor would they have any civic obligations to worry about were they to obtain any information concerning such an event ahead of time. After all, only in such a scenario would it make sense for anyone to think that these informed Jews would, without blinking an eye, just quietly stay away from such a tragedy without alerting anyone outside of their supposed super-isolated circles. (News flash: social networks don’t work that way.) The idea that there could be people this naïve and clueless about the world is seriously disturbing. But those rumors circulated quite far and wide even in non-fundamentalist circles, it seems. And that is scary.1 Of course, the idea that anyone would have a list of Jews to call up and warn in the first place is quite silly in and of itself.

Read Quinn’s piece to see how he came up with the 9/18 idea based on all sorts of info tidbits including this rumor and details from the 9/11 commision report. (Hat tip: Harry’s Place. Go to Bugmenot if you do not have a WaPo login.)

1. On occasion, emails show up in my inbox regarding conspiracies targeted at other groups such as Arabs or Muslims. Such messages are just as disturbing and naïve. I hope no one will see my outrage regarding this issue as an invitation to send me equally ill-informed messages about people grouped according to whatever one single demographic variable.

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