At this time of year, during the Australian summer, we look forward to holidays, some lazy days on the beach, New Year’s Eve parties and the December celebration of Chanukah.

But the Summer of 2020 will not be remembered for all these things that we usually look forward to, not because we are not a fun-loving people, but because our world has been turned upside down. The Covid 19 pandemic put a stop to most celebrations person to person, most holidays either overseas or even in Australia in interstate holiday destinations, and for many the time of gift giving was more than hard because of loss of jobs, trying to live on government handouts or even because many businesses were just not open.

On top of this the spread of this deadly virus has seen countries world-wide suffer in an excruciating way with millions infected and dying on a daily basis in countries renowned for the outstanding quality of their health care.

Politically there is also turmoil. Luckily not for Australia. But the chaos of yet another Israeli election has thrown the Jewish homeland into yet another turbulent period of uncertainty with the seeming collapse of the Blue and White Coalition parties and the continued legal battles of the Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. Who knows what the outcome will be? The one fortunate happening in Israel is the fast inoculation of Israelis with the Corona Virus Vaccine.

For our Progressive Movement in Israel, there is little likelihood of policies on the issues of concern to us being addressed in this uncertain political climate.

More recently, following the continued rampaging of Donald Trump and his refusal to accept his loss of the November Presidential election in the United States led to the most outrageous mob attack on the US Capitol. This attack will be a permanent stain on the history of democracy and the presidency of Donald Trump.

He could have left office being remembered for having contributed to the Abraham Accord and for taking a stand against the fear of a nuclear Iran. Instead his reputation has been trashed and now there is reported fear about the possibility of an American military strike being ordered by Donald Trump on Iran before he leaves office. Of course this is an unlikely scenario, but who would have expected a storming of the Capitol after the President addressed a mob of angry supporters?

One can therefore understand, that with the expressed FBI fears of more violence in the US, there would be nervousness in Israel, Iran and the Middle East about something very unplanned happening. We pray not.

ARZA President, Helen Shardey

ARZA President, Helen Shardey