Michael Laitman, On The Times of Israel: “Globalization: The Good, the Bad, and the People of Israel”
Much has been said about globalization. On the one hand, it gave everyone access to amenities that until a few decades ago only the rich could have. It opened us to new cultures and places, and improved the material life of most everyone around the world. On the other hand, globalization has devastated local production in countless countries and inflicted destitution on millions of people whose jobs have moved to other countries. Yet, alongside these heavy problems, there is another process that globalization has set in motion: the fusing of humanity. Globalization has made us similar, created a common basis for cooperation and understanding, nurtured shared desires and aspirations, and opened the door for understanding among all people.
The fact that now, after decades of accelerated globalization, we can understand each other’s words and gestures means that we can begin to understand each other’s hearts all over the world. Until now, there has never been a situation where all of humanity shared the same problems and aspirations, and could communicate freely among all nations in order to join hands, solve the problems, and realize the aspirations.
Curiously, the process that humanity is undergoing today is the same process that the Israeli nation went through when the nation first formed. The first Israelites were strangers from different, often rival tribes and lands. Yet, as they all elevated the ideal of unity above all else, they managed to unite above their different origins and form a new nation.
Now, humanity is inadvertently being driven to undergo the same process. We may not want to understand one another, but we do, since the global circumstances have become similar around the world, and the problems are similar and affect all other places. We may come from Finland or from India, from the US or China, Japan or Latin America, but our aspirations are the same, our technology is the same, and our upbringing is more or less the same. Like it or not, we are becoming one, global nation.
This is why at such a time, Israel is getting so much attention, predominantly for condemnation. We are the only group of people who has ever dealt with such a situation, and we have found a way to overcome suspicion and alienation and merge into a nation. We formed a society that, for significant periods of time, managed to become the “chosen nation,” a model society where people love their neighbor as themselves. At such times, non-Jews from around the world would come to Jerusalem to witness Jewish unity, especially during the festivals when Jews gathered in Jerusalem in a pilgrimage that brought together the entire nation.
Eventually, we succumbed to suspicion and alienation like the rest of the world, but humanity has not relieved us from our duty to set an example. It keeps stating that we are responsible for all the problems in the world, effectively saying that it is within our power to correct them. Jews relate to it as antisemitism but in fact, it is humanity’s demand that we fulfill our calling, our commitment to the world.
Now that we are scattered and dispersed throughout the world, we, Jews, are “globalized,” as well. Nevertheless, the root of our ancient union lives within us and projects itself wherever we go. It accelerates the process of unification and globalization even though we cannot feel that our ancient root is still alive within us.
When Israel become aware of who they are and what they are meant to bring to the world, the anger toward them will subside and the world will join them in establishing a global village whose diverse cultures and ethnicities are united by love. Humanity will not suppress the differences between nations and cultures; on the contrary, it will welcome them and thrive because of them, as everyone will contribute their exclusive traits to the common good.
When that happens, the world will realize Israel’s secret: Success does not come from one dominant doctrine or perception, but from opposing and conflicting views that join together under a canopy of brotherly love, where everyone uses their various qualities and perceptions for the common good.