Trilogy of the Jews
Trilogy of the Jews
As far back as 2003 with the publication of Futurizing the Jews futurist co-author Tsvi Bisk used the tools of forecasting to suggest where the Jewish people in general, and Israel in particular, should be going. He warned against defensiveness, a fetish of past sufferings, ideological wishful thinking, and willful isolationism. He urged instead emphasizing a hopeful future and boldly declared "no other people on earth is better prepared by virtue of education, temperament, and proven history to face the challenges of the space age."
Especially brow-raising was Tsvi's contention that the new information revolution, then still in its infancy, could yet "transform Jewishness from the historic identity of a particular people into a future-oriented identity that resonates with modern young individuals searching for communal identity without having to sacrifice their individual growth and aspirations.
Four years later Tsvi authored a monograph aptly entitled The Optimistic Jew: A Positive Vision for the Jewish People in the 21st Century. Among other things he urged modernization of Zionist ideology; more emphasis by the Diaspora on providing human skills, rather than money, to Israel; recognition that the settlements are dysfunctional to Jewish interests; an unconditional demand for reciprocity in Arab-Jewish relations; diplomatic rejection of the missionary assault of some Christians; and rejection of multiculturalism in favor of cultural pluralism; etc.
Tsvi closed his book with forecasts of changes he hoped would have been achieved by 2020, These included an indirect global strategy of destroying oil as the major international commodity, thereby winning the War on Terror and international jihadism. He also hoped Israel would achieve parity with the Diaspora in every aspect of Israeli life, the better to have the two parties relate as equal partners. As well, he envisioned EU and American development aid significantly alleviating the predicament of the Palestinian people, thereby enabling a move toward a process of practical peacemaking. Given the rise of anti-Semitism, the stagnation of the Middle East peace process, and the persistent promise by Islamic extremists another "holocaust," Tsvi's framework was applauded by many for its confidence in the future of the Jewish people.
In 2015 Tsvi Bisk brought out a third related book, this one starkly titledâ??The Suicide of the Jews: A Cautionary Tale. Darker in tone and message than the previous two, it urgently warns that "If Israel will not be a light unto the nations it will not be a light unto the Jews, and thus will not be able to mobilize the energy and passion needed to survive." As a result of misguided policies that cling to the past and have no investment in the democratic rule of law (theocratic power, settlement authorization, and land idolatry), Israel may yet self-destruct and become a third world state.
Working in the prophetic tradition of speaking truth to power, Tsvi warns that power is being steadily gained by Israelis with little appreciation for democracy, the Mizrahim (Jews from Arab countries), the ultra-orthodox, and resolute Greater Israel settlers. He extrapolates out to 2048, by which time Arabs and Orthodox extremists are the only ones left, the best and the brightest having gone elsewhere by 2032: "By 2048, the country known as Israel has ceased to exist, 100 years after its establishment."
Highly regarded among futurists, Tsvi Bisk does not presume to "tell the future" but instead ventures extrapolations from current events that merit pondering by all who appreciate how high are the stakes for Jewry (a people), Israel (a nation), Judaism (a religion), and thereby, for all of humanity. Consistent with Tsvi's pessimism, TechCast's 130 experts put the probability of Palestinian-Israeli peace at a low 15 percent and think it even far less likely Israel will soon be conquered by force (2-percent probability.)
Tsvi would have us recognize as well the threat from within, the challenges of redirecting cultural, ethical, and political drifts. With crisp, engaging, and always informative writing, he promotes a nuanced appreciation of the core choice Israelis confront: Either become a light unto the nations, or decline as a lost cause.
All three books are available at Amazon.
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