The world has entered a very challenging period due to various factors that enhance pre-existent undercurrents and allow them to boil over.
The perceived weakness of the current United States government on the global stage has allowed rogue nations to push their agendas without fear. The botched execution of the U.S. military disengagement from Afghanistan, the compromised security on its southern border, local inflation and economic instability, a self-inflicted dependence on foreign oil and social unrest are all factors in the rise of international instability due to the absence of a strong United States.
The Iranian regime, which sponsors terror, continues to threaten the free world. It exploits the weakness of Western governments and international dependence on oil and gas in order to negotiate a nuclear deal in bad faith. A deal that will allow it to become a nuclear power with sophisticated long-range delivery systems. The insanity of the “Iran deal” became even more evident when it was revealed that the primary negotiators on behalf of the U.S. are the Russians, who have a conflict of interest, given that they will directly benefit from helping the Iranians build a $10 billion nuclear reactor.
The Iranians are also involved in the destabilization of Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Venezuela and the Gulf states. As these societies become more and more aggressive, and involve themselves in war and terror, a great many people will suffer—among them, those who support the Iranian regime. At the same time, any domestic opposition to the Iranian regime is crushed without mercy.
In a move that exploited European dependence on Russian oil and the perceived weakness of the international community, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to expand his control over additional territories in Europe and invaded Ukraine. Putin’s actions were encouraged by the lack of international condemnation that followed the Russian invasions of Chechnya, Georgia and Crimea, and the buildup of the Russian presence in Syria.
In the meantime, Chinese President Xi Jinping builds a large economic infrastructure and a huge military force. The Chinese expansion of their economic and political influence in the South China Sea and elsewhere around the world is not a coincidence. It followed the weak international response to the Chinese government’s oppression of minorities and others, breach of international agreements on Hong Kong, implementation of self-serving business practices, incursion into the Solomon Islands, creation of military bases on artificial islands in the South China Sea, construction of multiple deep-water seaports in Africa and threats to abolish the independence of Taiwan.
All the while, the Palestinian Authority and terror affiliates enhance their efforts to deceive the oblivious around the world. They are building an even larger terror infrastructure, which also hurts many of their own supporters. They even send brainwashed individuals to kill and be killed for dubious causes. The Palestinian Authority’s responsibility for harm to innocent men, women and children—while destroying its own people’s future and welfare—has yet to be recognized by the international community. These acts of terror are encouraged by the inability or unwillingness of the international community to call out the true perpetrators of terror and deception in the Middle East and beyond.
The recent wave of terror in Israel, which was instigated by Hamas and other terror organizations, generated a relatively weak response from the Israeli government. The Arab Muslim party Ra’am, which is included in the Israeli government, exploited the situation, blamed Israel for it and threatened to leave the coalition. Ra’am made these claims while it ignored the fact that the instigators and perpetrators of these attacks were Arab terror organizations, such as those who amassed rocks and firecrackers in the Al-Aqsa mosque to attack Jewish worshipers at the Kotel below.
It is unfortunate that many in the media and academia have fallen for this deception and thus promote mistaken narratives that misinform their ignorant followers. To make matters worse, cancel culture undermines the ability to engage in dialogue that could otherwise address misinformation.
As cancel culture becomes more common, those who think that they are more powerful than others may use it to their advantage, as they will assume that the timid will surrender and give the powerful a free pass on their self-serving agendas. Many individuals do not want to be harassed or marginalized by bullies and will not stand up to them. This encourages even worse behavior, with nefarious consequences.
This is true for corporations that fire employees with whom they disagree on politics or ideology, even when those individuals are not undermining the corporation, its employees or its customers. This is true for the military as well, which will remove soldiers and officers from duty who may disagree with some questionable mandates, but still perform their duties with honor. This is true for the FBI, which may choose to target parents who speak up at school board meetings against the exposure of their children to questionable critical race theories and gender-related indoctrination. And this is true in simple social gatherings, where people choose not to listen to each other and instead try to marginalize and degrade any dissenting opinion.
It is high time to call a spade a spade and expose the bad actors, whoever they are, so that more responsible people at the global and local levels have the tools to form appropriate public opinion, which should have a positive effect on the decision-makers, to the benefit of all good citizens. We should also expose those who preach the value of “free speech,” but will limit or block the dissemination of opinions with which they disagree. An open and responsible dialogue will help secure a better future for all.
Dr. Shmuel Katz was born in Hungary and raised in Israel. He served as an IDF officer in the Six-Day War and gained extensive trauma experience during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He is double-boarded in surgery; a fellow of the Israeli Surgical Society, the American College of Surgeons and other medical societies; and is on the board of many pro-Israel organizations.