2 Minutes’ Meditation
10 o’clock. Holocaust Memorial Day. On some occasions, we stand in silence. This time, we stand in silence, but with sirens infesting our ears. I stand at the window, as do many others. The screaming of the sirens does not really permit my mind to think; except that Corona is not the only subject.
Our TV and radio channels focus on the Holocaust for 24 hours. All movies have a subject in common: about the making of the TV coverage of the Eichmann trial, a new film about some of the Kindertransport kids who ended up in beauty of Windermere, where some of the locals had never seen a Jew. There were movies on the escape from Sobibor, ’The Pianist’, ’Sophie’s Choice’, and ‘Primo’, with Anthony Sher playing the part of Primo Levi, looking back at his experiences in the camps.
Yes, we have another Corona day, but, for 24 hours, this country is reminded of another horror which affected us all. My maternal grandparents died in Auschwitz. This was my entry ticket into the world of Holocaust survivors. If, by words and actions, I have helped 1 person escape from the ugly prejudices that caused the Holocaust, 1 person who now gives his neighbour the benefit of tolerance, then I have done something positive. Of course, I want to educate the whole World, but they are never ready to listen…not even about Corona.
If you have 20 minutes – listen/watch Yuval Harari talk about the crisis…
For me, his most resounding statement concerns the lack of global co-operation. For Trump to refer to ‘America First’ is very worrying. Most countries will follow his lead and breathe a loud sigh of relief when their own country’s death/infection figures reach zero.
They will not care about the countries that cannot help themselves. Those countries will collapse, economically, financially, and will not have the resources required to kill Covid-19. Don’t they – don’t we realise that until the virus is destroyed globally, we cannot rest?
And another factor we appear to be ignoring, is that the longer the virus survives, the more chance there is of a mutation into another virus that we have to fight all over again.
It is a fact that, perhaps of all authorities, it is the scientists whom we most listen to. And they are perhaps the least ’nationalist’. WHO and the UN are currently showing themselves to be weak representatives of international co-operation. The scientists have the respect from the international community, and we must hope that this prevails.
Israel is slowly easing restrictions. I shall be able to play tennis next week, but no lounging around in the club area. Wait in the car for your time on court; play; leave. Unfortunately, my first game will be slightly delayed, as I have stitches to be taken out. I had a minor procedure 2 days ago at Ichilov/ Sourasky Hospital. (CNN featured the hospital’s ICU in a special report).
Israel’s Corona statistics are relatively positive. This is a small country with very few easily-controlled entry/exit points. The Israelis are used to crises, so the lockdowns have been well-heeded. The 2 communities to suffer most are the religious Jews and the Arabs. With one of their own as Health Minister, the religious finally listened, after suffering the most, due to defiance and cultural over-crowding.
The Israeli Arabs’ main problem was, like in Southern Europe, family over-crowding and a different culture. There is now optimism that the co-operation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will endure and perhaps grow.
It is an after-thought that, yesterday, a unity government was formed between the 2 major parties, Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White. The conditions agreed are unusual; quite obviously between 2 sides that sincerely dislike each other.
As far as the Corona crisis is concerned, we are crossing our fingers that this unity is not dis-unity in disguise, and does not delay decisions which, so far, have worked quite well.