Considering the past, making the case for the present and for Israel

By David E. Kaplan

There is so much talk these days about a mood of despair – how people are feeling despondent, depressed, some writers talk about a feeling of “alienation”. No sooner coming out from the COVID-induced social distancing, we are now saddled with rising fuel costs, global inflation, supply chains being disrupted, a seemingly endless war in Ukraine and an Iran set on playing the world to  dispense with international sanctions while it pursues its nuclear quest “for peaceful purposes”!  And to crown this growing global anxiety, China, that a little over two years ago unleashed on the world – whether from a lab or marketplace –  a pandemic, is now openly threatening to unleash a massive war over Taiwan.

And if the political climate weren’t worrying enough, the physical health of the planet is faring little better than its inhabitants with climate and weather related disasters surging five-fold over 50 years.  Extreme heat, wild fires, droughts, floods, storms  are not the wrath of gods but the common occurrence caused by common man.

Sea’ing is Believing. General view of Israel’s largest desalination plant on the Mediterranean Sea, in Ashdod (Edi Israel /Flash90).

It has a name – ‘Climate Change’ and to meet this challenge we have to change our habits.

Despite this unsettling malaise, I cannot think of another era in history I would swap the present for? In what period of history would I be better protected from ill health or a global pandemic than the present? We have a global pandemic and yet in record time we have life-saving responses.  Yes, we were isolating, and again in record time we had ZOOM that allowed us to socially, intellectually and educationally engage. We live in an age that no matter the monumental problems, we have the talent to come up with rapid solutions. No other age in history comes close…..

Reflecting on the fortunes rather than the misfortunes, I came across  an important but overlooked piece of good news in a recent article by the energy, environment, and science reporter at Vox, Umair Irfan, writing about ‘Climate Change’:

 “Why disasters are getting more severe but killing fewer people”

The writer notes a curious trend in recent years that while many types of natural disasters are causing greater destruction as populations have grown around the world, disasters in general are becoming less deadly. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the number of disasters over the last 50 years has increased fivefold, but the number of deaths has fallen by two-thirds.

This is a huge accomplishment – perhaps one of the biggest success stories in modern history – yet it’s easy to overlook,” he writes. “These immense gains are the result of the steady, incremental work of forecasters, planners, architects, engineers, and policymakers rather than any single innovation. And the main metric is averted losses, something that’s often hard to appreciate and tricky to value.”

In other words, despite the herculean hurdles, man comes up with innovative solutions and as the world ‘heats up’, Israel is in the vanguard playing its part. So while the Jewish state has negligible impact on planetary destruction, it is in the forefront of new projects in clean transportation, energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and promoting climate-tech innovation.

The Young and the Active. Young Israelis take part in a protest demanding action on climate change, Tel Aviv, April 27, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Sadly however, there has been no sustainable solution for the most ancient of lethal hatreds – antisemitism. One would have expected that after the Shoah (Holocaust) with the systematic mass murder of over six million civilian Jews, 1.5 million of them children, the world would have come to terms with living with their Jewish neighbours instead of always trying to eradicate them!

The day for such a cerebral “climate change” has not yet dawned!

Moving on from the mass-murder of individual Jews, the malignant virus has morphed in deviously trying to destroy the hard-fought country of the Jews – Israel.

That’s not going to happen – NEVER! Israel today stands as the ‘solution’ to global Jewish survival and security.

So while theoretically I would not – for existential reasons –  have chosen any other era to have lived, I would equally not have chosen any country other than Israel to live in.

Fun in the Sun. Israeli kids – including the writer’s grandchildren – enjoying a summer day in a park near Tel-Aviv. (Photo D.E. Kaplan).

I’m reinforced in that thought as I watch the “MUNCHKINS” – an endearing reference to my grandchildren – in a bustling Israeli playpark. I hear between the Hebrew, smatterings from the watchfull parents and grandparents of English, French, Russian and Spanish – and I think without a shadow of doubt that those probably around me share my thought:


While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).

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