The Dogs Aren't Barking

December 2002By David C. Stolinsky

David C. Stolinsky, M.D., who is of the Jewish faith, lives in Los Angeles. He is retired after 25 years of medical school teaching at the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Southern California. A shorter version of this article appeared on, and is used with permission.

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

— “Silver Blaze” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

In this famous fictional incident, the dog didn’t bark because he knew the intruder. This clue helped Holmes solve the case, and “the dog that didn’t bark” entered the language as an expression for something that should have happened but didn’t.

True, there are other reasons why a dog may not bark. Perhaps he is asleep or simply doesn’t care. This, of course, gives no clue about intruders, but it does say a lot about the dog himself.

For years — decades, in fact — there has been little protest from America, and still less from Europe, when Jews were slaughtered in the Middle East. Most of them were Israelis, but scores of others were American and European tourists or students.

To take one example among many, do you recall who Judith Greenbaum was? If you don’t, I can’t blame you. She, like so many other murdered or injured Americans, quickly vanished down the media’s memory hole.

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