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Editorial

The World We Live In

Much has changed in the 76 years since the Jewish Holocaust.

Anti-Semitism has declined, but it has not disappeared. On the contrary, lately it is on the rise again, even in America, judging by the signs, flags, etc. seen at the demonstrations of white supremacists and the anti-Semitic tone of some of politicians.

On the other hand, Greece is going through one of its golden ages in relation to Israel and the Jews.

Indicative of this is the close interstate relations between Greece and Israel.

Also particularly suggestive is the election of Moses Elisaf as the mayor of Ioannina. Only a few decades ago, such a thing would have been impossible.

In fact, the Greek Prime Minister welcomed the mayor to his office on International Holocaust Remembrance Day earlier this week, where they honored the victims of Nazi atrocities in general and the Greek Jews in particular.

Indeed, much has changed since the end of WWII. However, let us not rest on our laurels. Dark clouds are gathering again on the world’s horizon.

Over time and generations, many things have been forgotten since World War II. We think that these events happened so long ago, that they belong to ancient history.

We take many things for granted. But we must not.

We did not learn from the lessons of the Weimar Republic in Germany. We have not learned how fragile social harmony, peace, and democracy are. We consider it impossible for talented demagogues like Hitler and Mussolini to reappear, capable of exploiting the real or imagined problems of the world, captivating crowds and leading them to new calamities.

It is not just the events of January 6 that teach us that something like this is not as unlikely as we thought. It is that an international far-right movement has been created – a movement that has penetrated even the German Security Forces, causing deep concern. It is that authoritarian leaders in several countries are trying to turn their domestic models into international ones and are unfortunately gaining ground. It is that the threat posed by democracy in the U.S. evokes international authoritarian tendencies.

In the 76 years that have passed since WWII ended, the world has changed. Peace prevailed, at least internationally. Prosperity has reached unprecedented historical levels. The technological revolution that is taking place is unique in human history.

But the problems remain. Poverty, hunger, economic inequality. Other new challenges came to the fore.

Alliances, such as NATO, unions of states, such as the European Union, are losing ground to the new nationalism. Leaders and governments captive to their populist rhetoric do not dare face the big problems. They seem incapable of improving the lives of their people. And this acts like a worm that eats at the foundations of our culture and democracy.

The picture I am painting is pessimistic. But, unfortunately, that’s the way it is and looks. It might be even worse.

But there is time to overturn and reverse these trends. To get the people to feel that they are also part of the system. To make them feel that those who hold their fate in their hands feel their pain and see their hopes and dreams. 

 

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