But is it any more so than usual? Perhaps yes.
Young Kim Jung Un is threatening to use nuclear weapons against someone, maybe the US, possibly South Korea, or even Japan, or any of the countries of South-East Asia (which constitute the world’s main manufacturing power-house). The rhetoric and the idea, if not the location, sound familiar to Israeli ears.
After all, the current leaders of Iran have long been threatening Israel with nuclear annihilation.
France’s Minister of Finance has been found guilty of lying in order to cover up his illegal possession of a Swiss bank account, with an ensuing scandal for the government of French President, Francois Hollande. Another familiar-sounding event for Israelis.
For more than one of Israel’s politicians has been known to engage in financial misbehavior, and some have even landed up in jail as a result.
And as if all that weren’t enough, the bloodshed of the Syrian civil war continues unabated, with mutually-assured devastation between the warring sides, aided and abetted by outside parties from other Arab countries and entities.
Egypt’s so-called democratic revolution has not brought greater freedom of expression to that country, with leading television personalities being arraigned for supposedly mocking the President and Islam. Nor have there been any signs there of an improvement in the status of women.
India’s foreign tourism has plummeted by 25 percent, apparently as a result of the recent spate of gang rapes. That is not something we are accustomed to in Israel, though there does seem to have been an alarming increase in random thuggery and violence of late.
Add to all this the strain on the stability and economy of the surrounding Arab countries, mainly Turkey and Jordan, as refugees from Syria pour in and are accommodated in makeshift camps. Going by the past Arab record on rehabilitating refugees, there isn’t going to be much of a future for any of those unfortunate souls who are fleeing for their very lives.
That is also something that is not completely unfamiliar in Israel’s experience.
England is still in the grip of a modern-day ice-age, with no relief in sight. But given that Britain’s weather has always been the major topic of conversation there, that’s nothing new either. People in Israel, and in Jerusalem in particular, forget sometimes how very fortunate we are. Believe me, I know, having grown up in London and having also spent a year in the US Mid-West. That’s not a climate, it’s a catastrophe!
And so the world continues on its merry way. Each day brings a new and unexpected development on the world stage, and here in Israel we watch with interest, somehow managing to forget our own not inconsiderable troubles in the process. But I’m positive that someone will be sure to remind us of them in the not too distant future.
That’s something to look forward to.