David Altman


In the history of religion, prophesy paints a picture of days is known as Armageddon. Armageddon depicts an end to the global order, a breakdown of states, where every man is for himself only. This description always appears to be a far-reaching fantastic reality, which we cannot picture actually coming to fruition.

But as we look at the horrors of the 21st century, we see a reality that is difficult to digest. The traditional political borders between states have been blurred. Many states that were established in the 20th century have collapsed, following ideological, religious, and sectarian wars. The communist regime fell, but Russian imperialism is sending its long arm to various places in South America, Africa, and Asia.

China is viewed as a looming threat to its neighbors. The United States has returned to its borders following unsuccessful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which began with great fanfare. The attempt to turn Turkey, following the fall of the Ottoman empire, into a Western state, has returned to its Islamist roots, as Prime Minister Erdogan attempts to destroy all that Ataturk built, turning Turkey into a Muslim Brotherhood state.

European states like Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia have disintegrated and other states such as Belgium and even the United Kingdom face internal tensions. Fundamentalist actors are attempting to recreate fantastic Caliphate-like rule in various areas of the Middle East and beyond.

Indeed, this picture resembles Armageddon. The 21st century has exposed the nakedness of world leaders, as the world has no leadership, no sheffier, no law, no order. The weakness of the global order results in an inability to deal with terrorism. The fear that terror creates limits the world’s readiness to use tools to destroy terror. A leadership that cannot defend itself has little chance of survival. The world has forgotten the well-known passage of our sages which indicates that he who pities evil, will likely become evil, in the end.

The current missile war being waged by Hamas against Israel is not only a threat on the State of Israel, but must serve as a warning to the world of where humanity is headed. We face a world that slowly losing its moral posture, its humanity, and its readiness to defend values. It is no longer willing to use force against those who attempt to tear down all that the West has created.

The tsunami of hate is conquering more areas around the world, and we will soon find ourselves in an era with no hope and no way out.

About the Author
Dr David Altman is senior vice-president at the Netanya Academic College and vice-chair of the college's Strategic Dialogue Center