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Friday, November 27, 2020

Columnists > Jewish Culture

We simply don't know

Nov 19, 2020

By Moshe Unger - columnist

In the last few months, the State of Israel reached normalization agreements with two Arab countries, UAE and Bahrain. In addition to that, there is serious cooperation between Israel and other gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia. There are many factors involved of how they reached these historic agreements.
One central cause, and important for this article, was the opposition to the Iran Deal reached between Iran and the United States and other countries regarding the Iranian nuclear program. The gulf state and Israel are constantly under threat from the state of Iran and they found common ground which eventually led to warmer relationships.
At the time when the deal was signed by President Obama, many people were worried for the security of Israel.
The deal was seen by many as an existential danger to Israel.
Looking back now, Israel only gained from that episode. The deal brought regional cooperation and eventually peace with important Arab countries. A few years later President Trump reversed many of the deal components. There is talk now if President-Elect Joe Biden will renew the deal. Even if he does, it will probably be with many improvements to the previous deal.
This is a fascinating case of how history unfolds in ways that we would never have imagined. Precisely this deal that was viewed very negatively by many, turned out to bring many good developments to Israel. Had this deal not been signed, as many people wanted at the time, the peace agreements with Arab countries would not have happened.
I like to use this example of how to view events that happen in the present. We all have certain views on events whether they are good or bad. However, events in politics and in history are simply beyond our full judgement. Only after a few years can we start to analyze their impact if they were good or bad.
Of course, we have to do ours to try to influence the results we imagine to be best for us and for the country. However, once we did ours, we can only sit back and hope and pray for the best. Things that seem good or bad now might turn out very differently in just a few years down the road.
In the past elections, both political parties scored wins and losses between the houses and the presidency. Everyone can feel good or bad, depending on which side of the half-filled cup one is looking at. However, it is very refreshing to sit back and know that, ultimately, we are all riders in the great train of Divine Providence.
The amazing thing is that we can look back in our lives and on world events and see how things work out very differently than how it is viewed at the time of their occurrence. Our fate and the fate of our country and world history are not in the hands of the few who feel in power. They can do many things, but the same things can work out very differently just a few years later.
We have visions, hopes, and goals. Then we have the actions that we do to reach these visions, hopes, and goals. However, we can only do what is within our ability. All the excess energy and hope can be transformed into prayers of the soul to the Creator who ultimately runs the show. Afterwards, we sit back and enjoy the magnificent ride of life!
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