Many among the Christian evangelical community in the United States believe that armageddon will be upon us when Jerusalem falls to the Slavic peoples. If that is the case, then President Putin is essentially in Damascus already! And rightfully so, I might add – he was after all, invited by the legally recognised president of the sovereign republic of Syria. Who invited who does not amount to a hill of beans to the well read and worldly wise eyes of the millions of men, women and children beholden to their newly found faith. They are willing and able to kill for it. As are those, it is fair to say, who find themselves on the other side of this, self bestowed and self constructed battle for the soul of humanity. When people believe in something and believe in it so fervently, then they can find themselves writing a future that fits for them, fits their idea of the future, their community’s future, according to their values, traditions and beliefs. History would record them as having made a conscious and irrational bee line towards a head on collision with a counter thought; an enemy, and thus, ever onwards to their own mutually assured destruction. At each stage, the doomed traveler would be so convinced of the certainty of his or her truth that they would never deviate from the programmed flight path. All sides have bought into a version of this program, one that has been merely tinkered with to cater for the variety of flavours of national, ethnic and religious sentiment.
North Americans and the Europeans sing from similar hymn sheets on this matter, albeit belonging to markedly different denominations of the congregation. However they won’t always be choristers in the same choir. The Europeans may well yet find themselves singing with the Russians much sooner than they think. The British, together with their neighbours in Ireland, who will eventually over time, find themselves to be reconciled and reunited, will inevitably lend their full range of choral talents, if not always harmoniously, to their linguistic and cultural kin across the Atlantic. Younger, less religiously minded, secular souls are not so interested in continuing the sectarian divisions as their forebears were. It is about practicality and history, dear boy!
In this, the age of Kali, it can be expected that the majority of people in all societies, everywhere, have succumbed to the illusion of the self and follow the script, read out for them day and night, on ever glossier, faster, shallower and increasingly trivialising television. Cyberspace the same. Very few citizens of the nation states that would coalesce to form the three super blocks predicted by the author George Orwell in his classic work 1984, have any real understanding of the other; those who are on the other side of the argument. In spite of the inter-connected global world, the ordinary men and women know less and less of the world beyond their bubble of friends. Their political representatives in parliaments are willing to quote from and occasionally believe in the narratives of the same media outlets that on other issues they vehemently disagree with and claim (rightfully) to be state propagandists; the enemies of real news and colluders with the political establishment. They are willing to go along with this propagandising even on matters of war and peace, lives and deaths. Many deaths.
In the 1930’s two groups of fanatics, each believing in their own racial superiority, God gifted, they assumed, each with dreams of an ethnically pure homeland, each with an ancestral fatherland being imaginatively expanded to the maximum that their understanding of history would allow for. These were the National Socialists of the Weimar Republic and the Zionist Party of Germany. To further each others ambitions they signed an agreement, the Haavara Agreement in 1933 which enabled tens of thousands of German Jews to emigrate to the British Protectorate of Palestine. The agreement was by necessity cancelled upon the outbreak of the second war in a couple of decades between the United Kingdom and Germany. What came after is the tragic tale of ghettos and murder.
Is it not then somewhat ironic, that the state of Israel, itself established as a direct consequence of a war against fascism and the forcible movement of European Jews from their homes into fenced off ghettos and concentration camps before their merciless murder, should itself be effectively ghettoising it’s own population? Walling them off and isolating them from the world and actively encouraging international Jewry to up sticks and resettle within the walls of this tiny, overcrowded, embattled and ever drier strip of land? Surrounded by the sea and it’s enemies, each of them with their own agendas and all of them believers in a biblical armageddon.
Those who follow any of the Abrahamical religions and consider that their texts be interpreted literally, consider that the end of the world is nigh, that judgement day will swiftly be upon us. Even stranger that the current regime in Tel Aviv seems to be intent on cramming into the crucible as many of their co-religionists as they can. Stranger still, is that not one of the protagonists can see that they are each embarking on a journey toward a catastrophic collision, fuelled by the fervour of a half remembered history and blinded by social expectation.
Each of them forgetting the lessons of Mr G Orwell, whose prophetic words the leaderships surely have all read. All the factors are in place. The theatre, the actors, the audience waiting with baited breath. All waiting for the curtain to rise, for the show to begin. Perhaps too, they have forgotten what their own mothers must have told them, ‘don’t be too quick to rush to judgement.’
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