How to avoid a doomsday situation — Book review
Pragmatic answers and the
“How to Avoid Armageddon,” by Ralph Dobrin (240 pages), published by Old Line Publishing.
Clearly, humanity is at a crossroad in its existence. One direction points towards a very grim future, possibly in the form similar to Orwell’s 1984 or even a totally silent planet. The other direction, which is essential if we want to avoid Orwell or Armageddon, is by taking the next step in our development as a species, and on the face of it, it would seem to be a laughably simple step. All it entails is mastering the concept of truthfulness. Not truth – mind you. That’s too abstruse a concept for most people. But truthfulness, as in honesty, integrity, trustworthiness.
Ridiculous, you might think. After all, how is truthfulness going to solve the problems of pollution, global warming, hunger or the likes of Ahmadinijad? Well, think about it. Throughout history it has usually been fib and fabrication that have been used by inept leaders to cover up blunders; while scoundrels and tyrants have used lies, half-truths and unkept promises to gain and keep power and to wreak havoc and cause inestimable misery. And it has been the gullibility or indifference of most people that enabled the evil to be done.
Conversely, any leadership that made its decisions and actions in a spirit of integrity would undoubtedly have lowered the incidence of blunders to a minimum. Furthermore, if people were less gullible to smooth talking, ruthless, ego-centric sociopaths, or less indifferent to wrongdoing, many a tyrant would have been stopped before grabbing power, and much of the havoc and misery that people everywhere have suffered could have been prevented.
Falsehood in its many forms is what has invariably been the factor that led to conflict and blocked its resolution. A classic example of this is the long-lasting Arab-Israel conflict.
The bare facts – which are seldom acknowledged in the common perception of the Arab-Israel conflict – is that Israel, one of the tiniest countries in the world, has from its very inception as a recognized state, needed constantly to contend with the resolve of much the Arab world, to put an end to Israel’s existence. In population the over 300 million Arabs outnumber the six and a half million Jews of Israel by a ratio of about 50-1. The area of their lands, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean all along North Africa to Iran and even approaching the shores of Pakistan is over 600 times larger than Israel, and comprises a landmass larger than that held by any other nation on earth apart from Russia. Together with over a billion other Muslims, most of whom firmly support them, they possess most of the world’s oil resources, a factor that gives them an even more overwhelming advantage over Israel.
Never in human existence have the odds against any beleaguered nation been so overwhelmingly draconian.
Yet, it is Israel that is frequently censured and condemned in international forums, university campuses, the media and by leaders of the nations of the world. The United Nations Human Rights Council since its inception in 2006, has voted to condemn Israel more often than all the other countries put together. And that includes the likes of North Korea, Iran, Sudan, China and other tyrannical states.
In the future, historians (if there is a future for humanity and if historians will able to base their studies on what really happened in our time) will undoubtedly wonder at Israel’s uniquely bad reputation among the nations of the world, especially when taken into consideration is the fact that up to the present time, Israel has needed to fight over half-a-dozen wars in order to avoid annihilation, including three invasions by the Arab nations, and endured literally tens of thousands of terrorist attacks. Yet, the attacks and invasions against Israel have seldom aroused more than a reprimand by the United Nations, while the mainstream media of the West – the supposedly more enlightened nations of the world – has invariably endeavored to adopt a very measured tone regarding Arab declarations to attack or destroy Israel.
What is far less measured by the media and many of the world’s leaders is the constant pressure directed against Israel to desist from retaliating to Arab attacks and to return any territories that it acquired in wars of defense – wars of actual national survival in fact. This pressure flies in the face of the fact that throughout history no other country has been pressured internationally to return territories it captured in a war of defense, territory whose international status was questionably terra nullius, as Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. the West Bank) was in June 1967.
It must be remembered, however, that what people all over the world see from time to time in the news on their TV screens, is the devastation of Israeli bombing attacks and military incursions in places like Gaza, Southern Lebanon and elsewhere. The heart-rending scenes of badly wounded Arab children or terrified families cowering in the rubble of their destroyed homes in the aftermath of an Israeli attack, must cause deep concern in the mind of every decent person everywhere and generate anger at Israel. But what the news media seldom offer their viewers and readers is an objective background to what prompted the Israeli actions. People forget that such terrible scenes are a direct consequence of the instigators of war against Israel. Also, forgotten is that these same scenes have occurred over and over again in every war up to the present day and that many wars are still raging from time to time in Africa, Asia and also in other parts of the Middle East with Arab killing Arab by the hundreds.
Everything points to a gross double standard being continuously imposed on Israel – double standards indicate bias and the selective omission of vital, relevant facts. These are all factors of falsehood. And falsehood invariably prevents the resolution of any problem. As long as the double standard against Israel prevails, falsehood prevents a proper resolution to the conflict and the misery, mainly of the Arabs themselves, continues.
There are many forms of falsehood: gross exaggeration, selective omission, or little white lies and total, mendacious whoppers. There are also passive forms to falsehood, such as wishful thinking or choosing to ignore relevant facts. Connected to all this is indifference in the face of obvious wrongdoing or danger.
“How to Avoid Armageddon” suggests that most people everywhere indulge in some form of falsehood from time to time. But, with the many daunting challenges threatening the future of our world, it is now imperative for humanity as a whole, to learn to think clearly. And that, first and foremost, demands a totally honest approach to every assessment, decision and action on our part. That includes the leaders – especially the leaders.
“How to Avoid Armageddon offers a pragmatic way of looking at the world, through the prism of Israel’s struggle for survival, marked from its inception to the present day with a great deal of misinformation. The only way to solve the Israel-Arab conflict is through an approach based on truthfulness by all parties involved. And, as simplistic as this might sound, it is only through such an approach that humanity will be able to cope with all the other enormous existential problems that challenge our future.
The book provides a concise background to the Arab-Israel conflict, presented as objectively as possible. It also provides practical initial guidelines on how to bring more truthfulness – not to be confused with the abstruse word “truth” – into all our lives. While pointing out how biblical prophesy seems to tally with some of the prevailing regional developments, the book has a completely secular approach.
The blurb on the book’s cover calls it: “Possibly one of the most important books of our times.” This might not be an overstatement.
The book is available through: http://www.amazon.com type: how to avoid Armageddon
For ordering larger quantities contact the publisher:
For now, it is available at two bookstores in Jerusalem:
HOLZER BOOKS, 91 Jaffa Road (at the corner of Mashiach Borochov), a fairly new book shop with an old world atmosphere – a real gem of a place, phone 076-5433800;
and YARDEN BOOKSTORE, 42 Jaffa Road, Zion Square, phone 6254761.
It will eventually appear in stores all over the world. For inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org