Larry Snider

Fires Are Burning

It is a dangerous moment in Israel and across the globe. Issues that rip at generations of Israelis such as individual responsibility to protect and put on the uniform of the IDF have broken the bounds of table conversation and upset the governing coalition. The report by Emanuel Levy on the legality of settlements has reinforced the separation between those who believe in a Greater Israel and those who believe in Two States. A desperate man, Moshe Silman, set himself on fire as an act against a government that managed to forget him and the safety net that should have saved him. Palestinians in Ramallah demonstrated against a meeting between an Israeli MK and their President creating a riot and closing off another small opportunity to pursue peace. In the United States a deranged man walked into a movie theatre and shot 71 people, killing 12 on the spot.

The world is moving in a new and deadly way catapulted along within a 24/7 news cycle and a deteriorating balance of military and economic power that has disabled the solutions of the 20th century from applying to a planet that seems to be rocketing out of control. Syria is self-immolating and appears to be strong enough to resist the efforts of the United Nations and any international responsibility to protect from stopping its descent into civil war and genocide. Europe despite all the actions of a generation of economists cannot seem to come to terms with the dismemberment of its welfare state and the tough medicine that does not seem to be saving either its partners or there people. Iran is suffering from the best efforts of the international community to sanction it out of its desire to become a full fledged member of the nuclear club but continues its mission of terror even as it begs Israel to attack and grant Iran a seal of approval to produce weapons of mass destruction and promote its campaign of world-wide hegemony.

It is a time when politicians seem to be a step behind the problems plaguing our world, whether Obama in the United States, Merkel in Germany or Netanyahu in Israel. We see the speed of the Internet connecting us across continents but separating us from our neighbors in a new global community of Facebook friends. There is a feeling that the movie recreation of the comic book character of Batman in the Dark Night series has driven its bleak fantasy to intersect with reality not only in the mind of a sick young man, but in the politics, culture and lifestyle of our post-industrial, post-modern, post-Zionist world in 2012.


The words here represent the beliefs of the author and should not be construed as the policy of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace.


About the Author
Larry Snider was President of the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace a non-profit based in suburban Philadelphia. Today he lives in New Jersey and is a Board Member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey.