Saturday, 19 November 2016

Should we allow Globalization in its present form remain that way?

This article was written jointly by Roger Froikin and Bat-Zion Susskind -Sacks

“Globalization is here to stay.” This is the latest joint declaration of Obama and Merkel.
An objective dictionary definition of the term suggests that the term means “The process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.” Apparently, a decent idea aimed at removing barriers, economic and cultural, between nations and bringing people and societies together. It has been suggested that it is, according to Jean Monnet, one of the European Union founders, a way to make war a thing of the past by creating co-dependency and cooperation. It has been experimented with in various forms for a long time.

Our question then is, has it proved successful? If Obama and Merkel mean that the process once begun cannot be stopped, maybe they have a point. But if they meant that “Globalization” is a process so important and so powerful so that it must ignore its negative consequences in the interest of some higher goal, they are wrong.

For Roger and myself and for many others, the term “Globalization” evokes the unavoidable association and recollection of the biblical story of Babylon. Babylon in turn, conjures anything that goes against G-d and humanity’s code of moral conduct. We have heard of the “harlot of Babylon,” the lascivious and immoral conduct of its inhabitants which, we believe is also hinted at on Leonard Cohen’s song “Dance Me to the End of Love,” where he says. “Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon.” Babylon, as many know, is also the cradle of some of the pagan religions that sought to compete and destroy Judaism. What “Babylon” was, was a centralization of all power and influence in a small elite who saw it in their interest to squash all who dissented - cultures, religions, languages – all had either to be in the interests of those in control, or had to disappear. A world of diversity had to become a world of uniformity serving the new order imposed by those at the top - for the good of all. The problem then – and now, is that when uniformity is imposed, whose culture, whose rules, whose choices will be imposed on everyone for the benefit usually of those who are running the game or have access to those running the game.

The Biblical story of Babylon as recounted in Genesis, like the idea of modern day concept of globalization, was a counter reaction to certain realities that needed to be addressed. Prior to the Flood, per, people “had been interested only in themselves; they thought of themselves as supermen and lived each one for himself alone; they used violence and force against their weaker neighbors, paying no attention to laws and rules.”

We witness the same phenomenon unfolding itself in front of us nowadays. Borders are crumbling, economies with different outlooks and different work ethics are forced to work together removing the rewards from the hardworking ones and benefiting the less ambitious ones. Individuals who are yearning for self-expression and practicing their rights for individualism are silenced and reduced to becoming mere sheep, all for the benefit of a global society. Individuality and the integrity of one’s own mind lost its inviolability. The ‘we’ has replaced the ‘I’ leaving us with neither being capable of guiding humanity anymore.

In theory, Globalization is fine. It has the potential of being more opportunity and a better life to everyone. In practice, it has been much less so historically. Somewhere, some place there is the golden mean, the course of combining the two, enhancing one’s ability for self-expression and directing it towards benefiting us all. And that “golden mean” can best be reached by encouraging free and fair trade, allowing market forces, not bureaucrats and making the decisions balanced by a moral approach that requires fairness to all.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Silence of the Donkeys

We are witnessing a sad phenomenon nowadays. The U.S. is divided almost in the same manner it was before and during the Civil War in the early 1860’s.

The difference is that, unlike then, nowadays, it is not about some painful and revolting issues such as slavery and inequality. This time, it is about exercising some healthy and democratic tenets, Freedom of choice and the freedom to practice that which is innate in every free and enlightened society. The right to vote for one’s choice is what I am referring to.

The American voting system was decreed by the forefathers of our Republic. It was so decreed that the candidate that gets most of the electorate votes, is the chosen candidate. Our great U.S. A. has voted like that for over two centuries.

Many of us have voiced our dissatisfaction with this system but have done little if anything to change it. I remember the contested elections during the Gore Bush season. I also remember that as an Al Gore voter, I was upset. However, I accepted the verdict and supported Bush in his efforts to ensure the well-being and safety of the American people.

I certainly did not think then of going out to riot, cause havoc and use violence to express my dissatisfaction with the results. I would not have contemplated it ever, not then, not now even if the Democratic candidate, whom I oppose, had won.

Moreover, I am very upset, to put it mildly, to see protesters burn our flag. The Star-Spangled-Banner is the flag of the great U.S.A. It is the symbol of everything anyone anywhere else in the world could ever dream of! It stands for freedom, equality, opportunity and rights. It is the subject of our National Anthem It is the symbol of the Land of the Brave and the Land of the Free. For me personally, it is the symbol of the power that liberated my parents from the Nazi death camps.

Yes, I know, some will be quick to correct me and point out that back in 1989, Supreme Court Judge Scalia  was the fifth and deciding voter (Texas vs. Johnson) that upheld the decision that flag burning is a form of expression. A year later, he also voted against a federal law that banned flag burning.

And that, too, is part of what the Star-Spangled banner stands for, freedom of expression and freedom to choose one’s own candidate and one’s own form of government and policies democratically and openly.

Sad that some Donkeys do not get it!

It is not the voters that I direct my anger at. They have a right to be unhappy and protest. It is the leaders that they voted for that I direct my criticism against.

They promised us that they will work to make America great. They promised us that they will be there for us.

Well, your humble servant is one of those us. And this humble servant would have hoped that those same leaders would continue to stand by their promise to make us great, to unify us, work together towards one common goal and make America great again.

Instead, they have chosen to remain silent, sit and watch American brothers and sisters fighting against each other, boycotting and slandering each other. Have they forgotten parts of our bloody history?

I am glad I am in the elephants’ camp. After all, they say that elephants have a long memory!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Why I am a Trump supporter

I was once an immigrant, a newcomer to the U.S.A.

When I arrived there, I had very little possessions. I was a young woman who had nothing, average English skills, no status, no dynasty and certainly no connections. All I brought along with me was a strong ambition and big dreams.

America of then accepted me for who I was. It did not give me money or free gifts. All it offered me is its fertile ground of opportunity. "Come plant your seeds in me," it whispered to me, the seeds that are in you, it is here for you and all who yearn to grow and blossom. I will not do it for you, but I will offer you and all what is necessary to make it happen."

And I did!

In my first five years of living there, I achieved more than I did or could have achieved anywhere else in the world including my beloved Jewish Homeland, Yisrael.

I continued to work hard and America continued to be there for me. It remained with open arms and embraced my wish to grow and prosper.

It did not expect anything in return but Respect, Love and Loyalty.

That is the Great America that I miss. That is the Great America that I want back.
That is the Great America that only Donald Trump can give us back!