The parallel attack on Russia’s super-rich also opens the door to holding billionaires accountable (pardon the pun), everywhere.
Today, 21 days ago, the war in Ukraine started. Now, it shows very clearly how humanity made two giant steps forward toward a better future.
As so often in international politics (the Berlin Wall fell without anyone seeing it coming, even the day before), Russia’s attempt to annex Ukraine in a blitz war came as sudden as the corona pandemic. But, the European and global reaction was swift and easy.
Governments traditionally neutral (Switzerland), only considering the rich (the Netherlands), isolationist (USA), left-wing, and right-wing, came up and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their populations against the attack.
No to aggression, no to war, no to bloodshed, no to occupation, no to annexation, no to threats, no to lies, no to war crimes, etc.
The only option the Allies would allow Russia is: diplomacy.
The Russian nuclear arsenal prevented the world from invading Russia, but not the General Assembly of the United Nations from condemning it by overwhelming majority instantly. And the Allies do everything to get the Russian super-rich, military, intellectuals, and masses to dethrone Putin. In the Allied countries, it was crystal-clear, almost without saying, that no one was against the Russian nation, only against the dictatorial regime.
This development is a huge shift toward hope that the world will unite quickly and rid us from all tyrants, resulting in worldwide democracy, an end to hunger, success in saving us from climate extinction, etc.
1. Most importantly, this explosion of global solidarity did not build up after endless frustration with despots. The second everyone saw clearly the injustice, almost universal unity against it was a fact. Suddenly, countries and people who never seemed to care cared.
There were no protests against George Floyd—or Ukraine! Unity will win.
We, the World, almost all Whites and non-Whites are sick of racism! Some ingrained and institutionalized racism proves stubborn, but we’re so fed up with it that we may even exaggerate how to end it (cancel culture).
You’d think there is so much fake news going around. The Internet, media, and social media are drenched with chauvinistic, nationalistic, and other false sentiments that divide and set us up against each other. There are so many good but naïve people believing nonsense. So, true evil won’t get recognized. Wrong. A critical mass can tell the difference without a doubt.
We must learn from this. When people see evil clearly, unity is ensured.
2. Meanwhile, the super-rich, so often behind the scenes instigating and advantage taking of wars, suddenly were visible as enablers. This changed everything. No more smiling when they would give a few billion to charity. We expect them to wield the power they hold for goodness and peace.
Let’s apply, harness, and consolidate the two new openings now emerging.
It was heartening and heartwarming that the Ukrainian peoples, so tainted by antisemitic history, elected with 73% of the vote a Jew for president and now unite behind him. He’s doing a grand job priding Jews all over.
I still think Ukraine should have resisted peacefully until the Free World forced Russia out via sanctions. But, now that it chose military resistance, the Allies not just cheaply voice sympathy for Ukraine, send humanitarian assistance, start diplomacy, and warmly open their arms to all refugees, but they also supply weapons liberally and train the victim’s military.
Already, thousands have died. The cold and hunger are unbearable to many. Countless needed to flee already. Among them, as many children as perished in the Holocaust. We need the hostilities to stop quickly.
The saying goes: War only knows losers. That’s not fully true. The Sages say it clearer. Peace is preferable because in wars, so many innocent die.
There never was a better time than now to (re)commit to being an activist.
Today, Jews over the age of bar/bat mitzwah who can do it fast until dark. Why? Several ideas are mentioned.
● The special prayer in our prayerbook lets us beseech G^d, based on Isaiah 65:24, for help with our (often denied state of great) emergency.
● The Rabbis teach that we fast to make us cry because there is no repentance without tears and no redemption without repentance.
● Some have suggested connecting our fast this year to the war in Ukraine.
● Some have suggested connecting the Fast of Esther this year to the just plight of women as today is International Women’s and Agunah Day.
● Let us combine the above and suggest that we fast to repent. But repent for what? Well, it’s so easy to go through life and accept what’s wrong in the world as a given, inevitable, a law of nature or history, basically ignoring it. It’s bad, but what can we do? Well, fast days come to tell us: You, collectively, can set the world right, right now! You can, you must.
Just like this global solidarity came instantaneously and unannounced, so can global redemption (the Messiah) come right now. Repent, make it so!
The Sages teach the Redeemer may come because we deserve or because we can’t do it without him. May it be the first scenario! The fact that G^d hasn’t yet sent the Messiah proves that He still believes in us! Let’s do it!