How to solve your problems … and save the world – Part 3

January 8, 2012 at 9:40 am 1 comment

Based on talk on how to prevent a doomsday situation

Continued from Part 2:  

A new stage in humanity’s



Author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”

Can be ordered through Amazon

This is the third part my talk, whose full title is: “How to solve your problems … and save the world”? In the earlier installments we offered the key to avoiding and solving most of our own personal problems, through the understanding and practise of truthfulness as a way of life.

And similarly, it is truthfulness practised by more and more people everywhere that will save the world? Oh come on Ralph, the reader might say. Be serious for goodness sake. How is truthfulness going to solve pollution and poverty? How is truthfulness going to cope with the likes of Ahmadinijad and Zawahiri? Well just think about it. Throughout history it has usually been the opposite of truthfulness and honesty – it has been lies and deceit that bungling, inept leaders, scoundrels and tyrants have used to gain and keep power and to wreak havoc and bring boundless misery into the world.   

Even in the more benign democracies of the world, political factors make truthfulness among all the aspirants to power, something very conditional, even a handicap. To a large extent, gaining power, even in these democracies, is a game, a contest in which, very often, the winner takes all. And the gullibility of the general public panders to these games. Consequently, governance – which is really management on a large scale – governance is mediocre at best, and sometimes quite pathetic. In totalitarian states, not only public gullibility enables a self-serving dictatorship, but dread and fear as well. But for the moment, I’m talking about Israel and other democracies.

In our earlier blogs on this subject, we had talked about wishful thinking and holding onto old ideas and concepts no matter how things change or what new information emerges? And automatically rejecting any ideas or even events and developments that might not tally with our own perceptions. It’s called cognitive dissonance. It’s really a form of lying to ourselves. And we mentioned how these very common tendencies can prevent clear and sensible thinking.

Well, with any issue that has a political bearing, cognitive dissonance readily prevails, and often, even normally level-headed, intelligent, honest people can have their ability to think objectively and comprehensively, noticeably diminished. Right wing or left wing, religious or liberal, conservative, centrist, socialist – it doesn’t matter. Bring up any issue with a political bearing and intellectual integrity and rational thinking are often seriously compromised. Not always, not with everyone, but all too often.

If we take a brief, candid look at Israel’s situation we find that Israel faces bigger, far more dangerous challenges, probably than ever before; quite probably no other country in the world faces such colossal threats and challenges. That’s why the people of Israel have to figure out how to make the right decisions regarding every aspect of their national well-being and security. The trouble is that just about every issue in Israel has a political bearing, arousing heated, divisive squabbling along party lines and coalition hanky-panky. And this makes wise, sensible, crucially-needed decision-making extremely difficult, if not impossible. On the other hand, if government decisions were based primarily on honest, objective imperatives, truthfully debated, and based only on what’s good for the country and its people, it would have a better chance of overcoming the many threats and challenges facing us. But for this to happen, integrity and truthfulness must become the dominant qualities among all sectors of Israeli society, because it’s from this society that Israel’s politicians emerge, bringing with them, for better or for worse, all the general mores. For the moment Israeli society has a long way to go before integrity and truthfulness become the dominant qualities among all its sections.

Also compounding the gravity of Israel’s situation is its standing with the rest of the world. It’s interesting that Israel has been condemned – not just criticized – but actually condemned, in the various United Nations agencies and forums far more often than any other country in the world, and that includes some truly repressive, murderous regimes such as Sudan, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Iran, Somalia, etc., etc. And Israel heads the condemned list by far. Also, the media all over the world, including in Western democracies, is quick to pounce on Israel every time it tries to defend itself against military attacks. And there are many Jews in these countries as well as in Israel itself, who see Israel as largely to blame for the conflict with the Arabs. And of course, a major criticism is Israel’s occupation of Judea and Samaria and settlement construction.

What is largely ignored or downplayed by the leaders and people of the world and the media, is the multitude of infractions inflicted upon the Jews of Israel by the neighboring peoples. Over ninety years of unrelenting enmity and enormous efforts, to physically destroy Israel, using military invasions and terror, backed by commercial and academic boycott as well as the cynical manipulation of the United Nations.

Also ignored or downplayed are the incredibly disproportionate statistics. The Arabs outnumber the Jews of Israel by over 50 to one. They are backed by another billion Muslims. They have most of the world’s oil reserves. They have the second largest land-mass in the world, larger than the USA, Canada or Australia. On the other hand Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world, has needed to defend itself in half-a-dozen full-scale wars – all of them with the express purpose of either immediately or incrementally, destroying Israel. One would think that this enormous disparity would arouse some appreciation among the nations of the world and the general media regarding Israel’s desperate struggle to survive.

But no, it is Israel that is castigated, condemned, boycotted – not just by its sworn enemies, but by governments, trade unions, church organizations, municipalities, even highly educated, cultured folks at universities in North America, Europe and Britain, with seldom a word of disapproval towards those seeking the destruction of Israel.

Might all this be a case of double standards and bias? Well, when one also considers that seldom throughout history, or quite probably never, has a country been called upon by the nations of the world to return territories that it conquered in wars of defense, as is the case with Israel, it’s hard not to see bias. And in order to try and make peace with the Arab world, Israel has repeatedly ceded lands it conquered in these wars of defense … and yet with every concession that Israel has made, certainly in the last two decades, the enmity of Israel’s adversaries has kept growing, and peace has become less likely than ever before.

So it seems very clear that bias and double standards have blocked common sense and common decency on the part of many people all over the world. Ordinary people and their leaders and the opinion-makers in the media. But why is this? It’s a big subject, and it can’t fit in the scope of this talk. But briefly, let’s say that the bias and double standards are largely due to the concern for regular oil supplies, international politics and commerce, vested interests in certain journalistic circles and intellectual liberalism that might have tripped over itself, and oh, something to do with feelings about those pesky Jews. But no matter what the reasons, bias and double standards pop up when facts are not faced honestly; when falsehood is propagated and honored. That in a nutshell is the big picture regarding the Israel-Arab conflict, which incidentally got started and is perpetuated, to a large extent through falsehood. And yes, also through an inordinate degree of ignorance.

This series of blogs has been about a most basic value – truthfulness. Something that is clearly not fully understood, appreciated or practised … possibly anywhere. In briefly bringing up the Israel-Arab conflict, I have tried to show the connection between falsehood and conflict. How falsehood can start conflict and perpetuate it and prevent its resolution.

And the terrible thing is that it is this same general inability to face facts honestly by so many people, regarding the Israel-Arab conflict, that is also preventing humanity as a whole from coping adequately with all the other serious, pressing existential threats and challenges to our planet that we had mentioned earlier.



Entry filed under: Blogroll, dangeous lies and halftruths, How to avoid Armageddon, In order to survive, Inspiration, Solutions for Palestine. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

How to solve your problems … and save the world – Part 2 SOBER VOICES FROM ISRAEL – 5

1 Comment Add your own

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