About Global Place

This blog publishes Hebrew translations of newspaper and other types of reports and analyses that discuss various global issues. The purpose is to improve Hebrew-speaking readers' updated understanding and knowledge. In addition, some original essays on varied topics are published.

It has been some time that I am concerned by the fact that the knowledge that is circulating in the mainstream Hebrew press on globalization processes and their effects is limited and biased. Attention focuses mainly on issues of finance and trade and the analyses are biased in favor of investors, primarily the big ones. The lack of information and analyses is so overwhelming that even the worst fire disaster in the history of Israel – Mount Carmel 2010 – was only connected to the effects of global warming at a relatively late phase of the events and, with that, remained at the periphery of the public discussion.

The social justice protests of the summer of 2011 made it clear that such a blog is necessary. The protesters moved to confront key problems that by and large were outcomes of neoliberal reforms that are at the heart of contemporary globalization processes. At exactly the time in which resistance to neoliberalism is growing to unprecedented heights all over the world, there is a danger of ethnocentrism rearing its ugly head as an upshot of the intensification of the local. If the solution to the problems created by neoliberal globalization will be based on disconnecting the local from the global and on emphasizing the differences between places and populations rather than acknowledging our common human nature, anxieties and needs the damages wrought by neoliberalism might even worsen. There is no practical possibility today to disconnect global ties without paying a high price. The solution must be found through the formation of a more modest, decent and dialectic connection between places and populations than that posited by the neoliberal paradigm.

One of the challenges that global time poses for the pursuit of public debate on any local issue is the existence of a plurality of points of view. This challenge is faced not only by local nationalists that too often ignore the needs of others but also by those who reject and oppose nationalism out of hand. Makom Globaly will aspire to take into account as many points of view as possible, while remaining steadfastly committed to the alleviation of human suffering as its overarching goal. The basic assumption of Makom Globaly is that a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for reducing and eliminating suffering is the realization that there are no borders to suffering, both in the sense that it may always get worse and in the more salient sense that suffering never stops at any border or boundary. It always trickles and permeates in numerous and unexpected ways towards others and ourselves. Therefore, ignoring the suffering of others, whether they are weak or strong, poor or rich, controlling or controlled, is an illusion that is bound to cause additional suffering.

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