2020

Darkness and Light

Yes, it does seem that there is more Darkness than Light these days, doesn’t it? On so many days after I wake up and after finishing up all I have to do, I go around with this nagging feeling that there is something I need to do that I haven’t done. It is a very disconcerting sensation. What? What else did I need to do? I check and re-check my agenda, my lists, and rack my brains time and again only to come up with Nothing! I become frazzled and uneasy, but hours later I realize that it is the sorry state of our world that I am unable to fix, or to do anything about, that is causing my troubled and helpless feelings! Moreover, it seems that barely have we begun to process one dramatic world event when another one overtakes it! This rapidity in which events are happening is causing so many of us to feel Whiplashed often! That, too, is unnerving!

A serious moment of Darkness came with the untimely death of Kobe Bryant, his young daughter, and seven other people in a plane crash. Do any of us know when, and how, that moment of our demise will be? While Kobe left a shining legacy, do the corrupt amongst us think of theirs and, maybe, try to mend their rotten ways? It does not seem so!

Yet, it is not always Dark on our Planet, and it is those moments of Light that give me hope. One such moment came about as I was viewing a news clip depicting how the charred forests in areas of Australia were birthing new life as magnificent looking plants and flowers were emerging from amongst the blackened landscape. It was breathtakingly beautiful! The power of nature to emerge after such catastrophic blazes, as well as after volcanoes and other natural disasters, is absolutely amazing.

Yet, there is that cloud of Darkness fluttering over our Planet in more than one place. Recently, and with the emergence of the Coronavirus that was detected in Wuhan, China – that has apparently been there for a while – and which started spreading pretty fast, a panic was beginning to set in. The virus may have been caused by snakes, or bats, or other filth in an overcrowded, unsanitary warehouse full of some rare animals whose meat is sought-after. This caused the Chinese Government to put cities in lockdown and the World Health Organization, as well as health officials around the world, scampering to contain its spread before it became a worldwide pandemic. As I write this, we do not know whether the containment efforts will be successful, or not. However, what is obvious is that when Conscience and Responsibility are applied among nations things can get done to mitigate the outcome of disasters, and if – IF – we are able to manage the spread of diseases and pandemics then we are very well capable of managing the climate crisis, conflicts and wars through cooperation, dialogue and negotiations and not through the barrels of our guns. Not difficult, really, should we set aside our Arrogance and Greed.

The above mentioned human traits of Darkness were on full display at Davos, Switzerland where the richest people on our Planet gather every year to rub shoulders and schmooze as they devise more ways to enrich themselves while giving all sorts of pathetic excuses why they cannot raise employee wages, support universal healthcare and education, as well as making sure that Justice prevails throughout the societies that are the vehicles through which they have amassed their wealth. Unbelievably sick!

And, while attending the Davos Forum, President Trump announced in one of his many appearances that “we have the cleanest air and water.” I guess he does not realize how gutting the Environmental Protections of this nation are causing immeasurable harm, and, I guess, he was not told of the latest study which states that over 40 cities (and probably many more) in these United States have water that is contaminated with toxins of all sorts and kinds, including medications. Are other countries checking their water? They should had Conscience and Responsibility not evaporated from many corrupt governments to be replaced with Arrogance and Greed!

However, protesting masses of despairing people all over the world are demanding that we should end all this Corruption on all levels of society that are leaving in their wake more injustice, more poverty, more inequality. They are “storming the Bastille,” so to speak, and I doubt that they will stop until there is some Light instead of Darkness in all our lives.

Arrogance and Greed have also been on full display recently with the corruption of Isabel dos Santos who has been enriching herself with the embezzlement and theft of the national wealth of Angola. What an evil woman! Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar is another wicked woman! However, a shining Light was the ICG (International Court of Justice) which ruled that, indeed, there was ample proof of the genocidal efforts by the government of Myanmar on the Rohingya and directed that they had to be protected from this atrocious crime, one that Suu Kyi and her heart of Darkness continues to deny. Santos and Kyi are perfect examples of the Arrogance and Greed that we are seeing all over our miserable world. What a stark contrast are these two immoral women to Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and Sanna Marin of Finland, two inspiring elected leaders who are bringing refreshing rays of beautiful Light to our world. Amazing! May there be more like them sprouting up all over our Darkness!

Speaking of the Rohingya genocide, world leaders were commemorating the Holocaust in Jerusalem 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Russia and the Allied Forces. It was a somber and painful reminder of the pure Evil and Darkness of Hitler’s soul, as well as all those who supported and conspired with him. World leaders present at the ceremony gave moving speeches, amongst whom was President Putin who was egregiously uninvited to the commemoration of the end of WWII in Paris during June of last year, which was an unashamed omission by Macron at the time. After all, Russian casualties during WWII were about 24 million humans, including 11 million military casualties. An appalling number! Think of what dire events might have occurred had Russia not intervened in Poland and smashed Hitler’s hordes (and I realize that there is an ongoing feud between Russia and Poland regarding the interpretation of that segment of history). In any case, that horrific genocide of the Jewish people should, indeed, never happen again! It should never happen again to the Bosnians, the Rohingya, or any other people either. Period! President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed that fact while giving their emotional speeches, and I totally agree with them. Yet, the beautifully done ceremony at Yad Vashem seemed so cynical and utterly depraved when only a stone’s throw away from Jerusalem, the Israeli Government was practicing a war of attrition and genocide on the Palestinian people of Gaza. How does that make any sense? How can this even be acceptable? It is very reprehensible to decry one genocide and not another, and it should be shameful to every Jew who recites: Never Again!

As I mention Yad Vashem, I remember my father and Pnina, a Palestinian Jewish woman whose ancestors had lived in Jerusalem for generations, if not centuries. Pnina was close friends with my mother and father. After The Nakba, when she used to attend funerals, or events, at Yad Vashem and/or Mount Herzl, she would tell her Jewish friends, amongst whom was Moshe Dayan: this is not our land. This is Gabriel Deeb’s farm, not ours! And, indeed, that was my father’s property – at that time called: Sharafet Ein Karem. This is painful, very painful, as are the memories of over seventy years of dealing with this catastrophe!

On Tuesday, The Middle East Peace Plan, (Deal of the Century?) was finally unveiled. It was most certainly a self-serving, ego-stroking exercise for both Trump and Bibi. However, the devil, they say, is in the details, and I haven’t read the whole plan yet, but I have always believed in Negotiations rather than Violence as a way of solving even the most intractable issues. So perhaps at this juncture, and painful as it might be, we should all pause and give Peace a chance? Perhaps we should replace the Darkness of the past seventy years with Light?

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