Will we, from within the enormous Corona crisis, achieve growth and prosperity?
Within a short period of time- and hopefully for a short period of time- the crisis created a new world, one in which weaknesses and needs are exposed, along with fortitude of spirit and values, which in regular times are out of sight.
The crisis, as is the nature of stormy times, has radicalized and accelerated processes which were moving along at their own slow pace – and in doing so opened a floodgate to the future. The crisis can serve as a sort of x-ray machine, exposing what is occurring below the surface to show what will happen in the future, while facilitating an analysis of trends and consequently, more precise planning of a system of treatments.
The crisis is a sort of social experiment, which notwithstanding the circumstances, the world would never have permitted. The crisis is a laboratory for experimenting and considering the impacts of quarantine and brotherhood, social distancing and virtual closeness, trust, priorities, vulnerabilities, lacks, sensitivity, injuries and resilience.
“The State of Israel shall be open to Jewish aliyah and to the ingathering of the exiles; It shall strive to develop the land for the benefit of all its inhabitants; Rooted within the fundamentals of freedom, justice and peace as in the vision of the prophets of Israel”
Declaration of Independence | 5th of Iyyar, 5708 14.5.1948
We need to leverage what we have discovered during the Corona crisis in order to build the future of the State of Israel together:
The Corona virus has swept us into a world which up until now seemed utterly distant, with masses of people unemployed due to structural reasons. As such, it invites us to consider the future structure of working and leisure hours in a world in which technology makes extensive parts of industry redundant, and undermines the resilience of the family unit. The Corona virus forces us to think about work, training, taxation and welfare as well as on the establishment of occupational resilience for a future which is suddenly visible.
- Us and them
Corona has taken the solitary, self-isolating man, concerned about getting close to others, who lives within his narrow family unit, whose home is his castle, and who, like all his compatriots, has closed the gates and skies to strangers and placed him under a magnifying glass.
On the other hand, Corona has also led – for the first time in human history – to humanity experiencing a joint destiny; humanity joining in war, not one against the other, but rather all of us against a small virus invisible to the human eye. Corona has created an opportunity for nations, and for Israel in particular, to decide whether we will turn inward, or instead act as a lighthouse and an example. Will we separate ourselves or will we cooperate?
- Dependence and Independence
Corona has demonstrated how an open, interconnected world speeds up the spread of the epidemic and strengthens the damages. however, knowledge and science employ the same openness in order to empower and increase resilience. This state of affairs requires renewed thinking about the State of Israel’s balance of dependence and independence within the world.
- Learning and education
Corona has schooled us in learning and education, showing us how it is possible to move a class, the students and the teacher out of the neighborhood school and into the virtual universe, as well as how to learn without a class, without a teacher and without a neighborhood school in their classic, familiar form. Corona has also exposed how unprepared we were for this and that none of this would have happened without the directive for the protection of public health.
It has also highlighted education versus learning, the need for a significant adult figure and for social interaction. What will education and learning look like in the future? How will a younger generation be forged with emotional and occupational resilience? How will it be possible to raise a generation of independent young people with a passion for knowledge, who learn and develop independent thought in a world of uncertainty while continuing to learn all that human teachers and educators have to offer? It has raised questions concerning the place of the establishment in education and learning and has made it increasingly transparent to what degree said establishment was unprepared for the future and possibly the present.
Dealing with the virus has meant high praise for all that divides – social distancing, face masks, walls and borders, while simultaneously introducing technology which overcomes all barriers and bridges the gaps of distance and location. Businesses, the elderly, religions, shops, charities, scientists, parents and children, universities, artists and singers all discovered the technology developed in recent years and which were just biding their time to explode into consciousness.
- Physical and mental health
Corona affects not only the respiratory system – it also spreads loneliness, poverty and pressure on the family unit, forcing us to rethink our list of priorities. It’s too much to take in and the decisions are not to be taken lightly. And action must be taken.
- Citizen, society, nation
Corona has granted the government almost unimaginable powers; the power to halt the economy, to imprison residents in their homes and spy on them with invasive devices. Corona’s powerlessness was exposed when tens of thousands of young people volunteered to help the weak and when industrialists worked together to locate medical equipment to aid the sick. This is the finest hour of civil society. When the storm passes, of course, the edicts will be cancelled and the sense of common responsibility will ebb. One question, however, will remain; is the division of labor among the private, public and non-profit sectors optimal? Is there cooperation and mutual encouragement among them? Are there other models? Also, how do we protect freedom?
The basis for our destiny and purpose as a nation, as well as that of Israeli society, is trust and the covenant of brothers. We grew up together with books about Holocaust survivors, independence warriors, pioneers who drained the swamps and made the desert bloom. We served together in the army, experience and undergo the same cycle of pain of every Yom HaShoa and Yom HaZikaron, as well as the pride of Yom Ha’Atzmaut; together. We swore the same covenant of brothers to live with the various tribes and nations within us, to grow and prosper together. Basic trust is the foundation of our existence and it must be implemented daily, hourly, in our routine, in our growth and in all sectors of society.
Trust stems from the creation of value, the sort which is measured in transparency and fulfillment of expectations. Over time we develop expectations as well as fulfilling those of others. And when we do so, we take responsibility.
Trust, solidarity and a joint vision are what create resilience. Occupational and economic resilience. Personal, family, community, social and national resilience.
Countries and communities who will come through the present crisis, as well as future crisis, are those in which trust is strong and increasing as a result of the current situation. Countries in which the social solidarity will stand out and grow stronger are those who will be safe from collapse and will come out the other side with the spirit and tools to handle any challenge. We have been given a gift, a time out composed of solidarity, a gift that needs to be used to its best advantage.
Trust is built upon a joint narrative and a joint vision. It’s rooted in values, dialogue and more than anything, upon joint actions with true value for people who are faithful to the same vision and hope.
In the modern age, trust is based on transparency; transparency of leaders, of citizens, transparency based on indexes we are obligated and working to improve. With transparency and resilience indexes for families, it becomes possible to understand and know exactly what the situation is and what is needed, and thus – to offer assistance. This assistance creates value for the individual and their family.
Value, when it stems from people and from family, creates a better, healthier society. Assistance is measures in the results seen the field and when offering it creates trust. When there is transparency, it is possible to believe. When there is transparency, execution can be measured, in order to fulfill expectations. Transparency creates trust, and trust is the basis for resilience.
On the State of Israel’s 72nd Independence Day and at the start of the State of Israel’s 73rd year, reality has created a challenge to renew our joint responsibility as we renew our joint narrative and our old-new dream. This is the daring dream of a people who returned to their land to build something different, deep-rooted and of quality. The spirit of resurrection and of making the dream of return a reality which came to life in our generation with waves of immigration from all the corners of the earth, welded together with the long-standing tradition of our nation, material and spiritual action for one another and with one another, Torah, labor and benevolence; all of the above blends together with the traditions of those nations who dwell among us and who chose to live a joint, successful life.
It’s time to bring back the trust; to tell and dream together.
It’s time to establish trust and solidarity and illuminate the days to come. Hi-tech entrepreneurs and farmers, children and adults, soldiers and teachers, freelancers, employers and employees, public servants and citizens, people of action and spirit who want to have a positive influence upon brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, grandchildren and all the generations to come.
We have come together to build new floors upon a base of the trust and cooperation of the wondrous Israeli society. We are here to build a pact of civil resilience for future generations. We have come to build man, a people and an exemplary nation for the next thousand years. Together.
We have come to build.
We therefore wish to bring our opinion and our actions regarding all of these, with our sights on the magic inherent in the ties binding freedom and belonging, ethics and businesses, based on the following principles:
• The long-term
We are not seeking short-term solutions for a quick exit from the Corona crisis. We are interested in seeing the Corona crisis as a jumping off point to a better future, to structural and infrastructural changes.
Corona shattered economic, international, social and ethical patterns and conventions – and in doing so created an opening for untried, innovative, groundbreaking ways of thinking about axioms and paradigms. We are not held hostage by nostalgia but rather have begun to rethink a renewed nation and society which continue to gains strength, as well as a better future.
• Promoting action
While it is true that it is better to think before you act, and that our thoughts draw on sources including the fields of social and political sciences, economics and futurology, the goal we’ve set for ourselves is, nonetheless, not research and analysis which remain in the field of thought, or at best are displayed in a well-drafted position paper. We intend to be people of action, those who dare, the innovators and workers who plow a clear, deep path and sow in faith for future generations.
• The ignorance screen
It is clear to us that no one chooses their genetics or the surroundings into which they are born. By beginning from a starting point with no preconceptions, we ask what constitutes the good society we wish to promote, purposely ignoring which social class, religion or neighborhood we belong to. The question, as far as we are concerned, is which society would we like to be born into?
• Cooperation among sectors
Our goal is not to represent or prefer any single group within the Israeli public. When things go well for everyone, we all do better. We believe that the relative secret to our existence and ethics lies in our ability to create bonds between us to create an innovative, groundbreaking society. Only together, through the creation of trust and mutual support, will the private, public, and civil sectors, along with each and every one of us, be able to achieve long-lasting success.
• Families and the individual at the center – our mutual responsibility:
In today’s world, as well as in the future, we are faced with great complexity, widespread, available communications, possibilities that are endless, constant, rapid change, multiple, complicated interests, reality and the imaginary mixed up in one another, all of which makes it too easy to get confused, to lose direction; it is all too simple to confuse what is important and what is not. In this world we have set ourselves a single measure as a goal- the improvement of the quality of life for the individual. This index is one to which all of us, the covenant of brothers, are dedicated.
On the basis of all of the above we have joined together and commit to create and build trust for generations to come.
The building must commence immediately. De facto action is needed right now.
We believe that faced with the Corona crisis, our people have demonstrated, and will continue to demonstrate, all that is good and beautiful in us as a people, as a civil society, as partners in destiny and direction. Together, in solidarity. We are optimistic.
Together, with trust, we will construct the next level along with the resilience of the State of Israel. Initial chapters of thoughts about the next economic step are presented for all who wish to join and create.
You are invited to take part in the construction of our shared future.
With best wishes,
Hikers on the trail to an “Exemplary Nation”. Israel, 2020