Category Archives: Other insights on the M.E


COVID-19 and the Cost of Human Life

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By NIR BOMS, HUSSEIN ABOUBAKR, Jerusalem Post, May 10th 2020

The recent weeks have awakened us to a new and unprecedented reality. Life is at stake, we are told, and life is precious, priceless, in fact. The world needs our actions to save life. There is no price for human life, unless of course it’s someone else’s life or someone else’s war. For that, we will not halt our world. We will not close a single shop. We might just change the channel.

The Covid-19 outbreak presented us with a real-life question of how far we are willing to protect and preserve life. For most of us, citizens of the “lucky world,” this was the first time such a question has been posed, not in a metaphysical sense but as one with real-life consequences. The disruption and the near-complete global halt is due to the drastic measures taken to curtail the spread of the virus. The world-wide response has indeed been impressive. Borders were shut, cities were locked down and national emergencies were declared. As it stands today, the unprecedented global death toll of the new virus has crossed the 250,000 mark, still mostly among the elderly. Our measures appear effective in slowing the virus’s progression and “flattening the curve.” But what more are we to do if that death toll climbs? How about 300,000? What if the number approaches half a million human lives lost to the pandemic?

When it comes to global crises, those numbers are not fictional. They are very real numbers of real lost lives from the last decade alone. Some 700,000 Syrians lost their lives since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, with a peak of 20,000 a month. Syrian healthcare systems, schools, infrastructures, water and sanitation system are entirely destroyed. Once-busy marketplaces and bazaars in historic city centers have been reduced to rubble and ash. Parents buried children who died from bombs or who drowned in the Mediterranean. The coronavirus might spare the lives of children, but war doesn’t.

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Los valores centrales de Europa

por Nir Boms y Terry Newman

Europa está creciendo con rapidez. Afrontando inmigración, nuevos estados miembros y constantes conversaciones de acceso, Europa se encuentra planteándose de nuevo una cuestión antigua: ¿de qué trata Europa? La respuesta tiene que ver con valores – valores europeos centrales que necesitan ser expresados en positivo con el fin de que sean la fuerza motriz de una Europa en renovación.

Europa necesita iniciar un diálogo acerca de sus valores centrales con el fin de definir y defender las interpretaciones aceptables frente a lo vulgar. Sin este diálogo, palabras como tolerancia, libertades individuales o respeto a la razón podrían perder parte de su significado. La etiqueta sobre la botella de vino se quedará, pero el vino se volverá vinagre. Continue reading


The Final Frontier

By Nir Boms

“It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice, really; it’s an imperative.”- Michael Collins, Gemini and Apollo astronaut.

“Space, the Final Frontier,” said Captain Kirk as he began the voyage of the starship “Enterprise,” a fitting name for an imaginary tale of man’s journey into space. The Enterprise traveled toward new worlds and distant places, carrying crewman from planet Earth. Earthlings had learned to transcend the wars of the past in order to tackle the challenges of the future.

The voyages of the Enterprise were fictional, but advances in modern technology constantly bring that fiction closer to reality. On the morning of February first, 2003, it appeared that Israelis would have the opportunity to finally share with Captain Kirk the sense of accomplishment of having reached for the stars, and touched them. School children from Calcutta to Houston and Moscow to Jerusalem stared up at the sky, realizing for a moment that the world is not as large as it seems and the people on it are more similar than they are different. Continue reading