“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” so wrote Irish statesman Edmund Burke (1729/1797). I have no idea if I am a good man; I’ll leave that to others to make that judgement. Personally, I don’t think so. I think that I am a scaredy-cat hiding behind the notion that anything negative could and maybe will result in the loss of my US visa.
It’s well know that I have a deep abhorrence of people living outside of Israel pontificating on the mistakes / bad judgement calls the government of Israel makes while throwing in what should, in their opinion be done. We, the people of Israel, live 24/7 with these calls.
And so I have arrived at a junction and find myself turning into the hypercritic I loathe, passing comment on the US.
From where I stand, I have the distinct impression the US is dividing. While not yet a “house divided” it certainly appears to be moving gradually down that slippery road. Abraham Lincoln in 1858 – just three years before the outbreak of the American Civil War - famously said that “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” (I understand the original quote that I guess Lincoln borrowed comes from the New Testament.)
No one wants to see a repeat of the devastating hostilities that tore the US apart some 155 years ago. (Am I being naive in my thinking?) And yet it would seem that all is required is a single spark to ignite the flames.
I asked myself what if – what if the massacre last Saturday of 11 Jews at pray had taken place not in Pittsburgh but rather an African American church in one of the many poorer inner cities spread across the US, would such a tragedy sparked an inferno? I asked the same question substituting a church with a US-based mosque.
Having just survived nationwide local elections in Israel – some places, including Kfar Saba face another round of voting – we now see people coming together for the greater good of their communities; although with a mandatory general election in 2019, the spirit of human kindness will I am sure be short-lived.
Will the dividing house hold in place until after the US mid-term elections? Will then there be (short) period of coming together, goodwill shown to all and common ground and goals sort? And all this before the circus starts again for the 2020 US elections.
Winston Churchill said in 1947 “that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.
So what is the answer?