This post is about the fear I feel when I think about the world. This is the fear I feel when I think about Israel. This is fear not only for my "success" in life, but the fear I feel when I allow myself to think of the future.
Sometimes I sit and think about the future of Israel, and it worries me a great deal. One of my Sociology professors had shared the same feelings, that he stays awake at night thinking about the situation his daughters and grandchildren will live in, and it resonated with me, not because it's true (which it may not be), but because I had the same thoughts, the same fears (minus the descendants clause).
I think of the Iranian atomic bomb, and while I am not sure I worry about it as being relevant (that is, even if they'd have it, I don't think that they'd fire it), it still worries me, even if only as a marker of escalation. I sometimes think back to the pre-WW2 situation, and then I wonder if it's entirely apt. That is to say, things are progressing more or less the same way, but it's not necessary for them to have the same outcome, and in fact, the situation is quite different because of the "power" of the country in question.
The lack of operative power is what led to the disbanding of the pre-UN body. But then again, the UN also has very little operative power. It mostly has the power that countries choose to give it in regards to them, and in the end seems like it's all up to the few "super-powers".
I sometimes wonder if Israel would ever be ostracized again, officially, by governments. That it'd suffer from embargos such as it did before. Israel has a relatively big agricultural infrastructure, which results in Israel "Exporting water" to Europe, de facto, but due to our relations with the surrounding countries, Israel can't really survive a political and economic embargo.
Some may say it's a result of my Eastern European Jewish mentality, but I would like to note all my ancestors had come to Israel before the Holocaust (AFAIK), and that one of the components of "Liberalism" or "age of enlightenment" is that you are a citizen of the world, and that you can move from one place to another, without having "Roots" to any one country (I do feel connected to Israel, but a lot of it is history, family and friends. I honestly do not know how related I am to this place. Spiritually is certainly not an adjective I'd choose).
So sometimes I think of my "need" to "escape", the game of chicken that is running inside my head. How long can I put off escaping before I would no longer be allowed, how long can I stay before it'd be too late? I want to have an "insurance", as many Israeli Jews treat their European Union passports and dual nationalities. They have somewhere to escape to. Of course, one of the rationales given to Israel's founding was so we would no longer have to run...
When I was a child I had a "future plan", go but not necessarily to a high end technologically oriented high school, or one where you can get a B.A. during your HS studies, get a degree in Computer Sciences, then go to the states. I ended up doing none of these things, but let's talk for a moment about the last.
As I grow older, and see the situation in other countries, I'm less and less enamored with them. All those shining beacons of liberalism and open-mindedness are not. I was naive before, but it goes beyond it. Some Hassidic Jews do not understand what it means to be a "saint" (not in the Christian sense, but more in the "Virtuous" sense). Look at Job, you can't be virtuous if you are not tested. The Hassidic Jews try to eliminate everything that might tempt them. This does not show how they do not give in to temptations, but how they run away and stop anything which might tempt them (they also present an almost mechanistic viewpoint, where a woman's voice or loose hair will tempt a man as if he has no choice, WTF?).
Likewise, look at the immigration countries in Europe and the USA "suffer" from, or to be more precise, are experiencing, and where it leads to. All those beacons of openness were only open when it was a moot question, when it wasn't a question at all, when they were pure
. Once they actually have to practise it, it seems they are downsliding (not that Israel is any better, but this is brought about in relation to my childish hopes of going somewhere "better", which seems to be getting farther and farther away). And of course, as there's more ethnically different immigration, things seem to be getting worse.
In Israel, there's a demographic concern. And while Jewish Nationalistic politicians mean this in the sense of "There'll be more than 50% arab population in a short time" (Left-wingers too, nearly everyone on the left is pushing for two countries for two People, because they don't want a bi-national country), I'm looking at the economic side. Arabs on one hand and Hassidic Jews on the other, already comprise half the children in the first grades of elementary school. They do not participate fully in the workload, and not even close. There's both segregation of choice and discrimination from the majority towards these groups, but it doesn't matter why it is this way, and it'd have to change. Right now the Hassidic Jews are viewed by much of the secular public as parasitic, taking resources (more than their share in the population, due to political leverage points), and not participating enough in the work-force to pay, both via taxes and by requiring less resources.
Things are getting better there, but it's slow, and it worries me. Arabs of course are discriminated against and have much lower chances of attaining gainful employment compared to non-Arab competition, in the same workplaces.
There is also the "Army Participation" issue. On one hand, the army only needs 70% of those it recruits, or so it itself claims, and we can go round and round on whether an army is needed or morally right, but I have no interest in either going there or truly discussing it, save but to say that I think the right-wing argument is leading to part of this problem. If you ask people to join the army for nationalistic reasons, then non-nationalistic will only join even less. Perhaps they are trying to appeal more to the religious and very-religious sectors, whose army participation is lower?
Anyway, we are becoming more and more split there, as a country. We have an ever-growing sector of the population that is exempt from joining the army, and we also have more and more people who find their way out of serving, even though they belong to the sector that does send its members to the army. We are more and more split, less and less people "carry the effort", but since we don't need everyone anyway, what is the problem? The problem is that it's making us into two societies, those who serve and those who don't. Those who fulfill their civil obligations, and those who do not (we could easily switch "Army service" into "Paying taxes" here). This is a social illness, and not for nationalistic reasons, of "We must have a strong army", but "Citizens must carry equal burdens, and must follow the laws."
It can even be a social illness because that a certain group of society is required, forced, to join the army, while whole sectors get a legal and free pass. This splits us into two societies not just because we have different legal obligations, but because we see ourselves as serving not the country, but the other side as well. We pull the weight they are not required to.
Perhaps there should be no army, perhaps those in the army should be rewarded properly (which would increase the amount of the poor in the army, as then they'd have no "choice", and the rich people could basically "buy" their pass), but so long as we have a civil obligation, it's problematic that it's not shared.
And all these things frighten me when I think of the future. Israel, the world, Israel and the world...
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