I’m definitely not in Ramallah. But when I first moved here in the early 90s I was made to feel as though it was. I live in the most horrible and beautiful spot in rural Tennessee, just outside of Jackson, nearly smack between Memphis and Nashville. In fact, there used to be a thriving but small Jewish community here when the railroad was king and some Jews were even very noticeable. The Kisber family was huge.
But every one of them has gone, along with all the others. Flown away or died. Brain drain, if you want to talk about one. Gone to NYC, Chicago and LA.
I’m not being fanciful. Get those Jews out of NY and LA and Chicago and move them to places like Jackson to farm! That’s where they used to be running dry goods stores, but that’s not what they need to be doing today. What do you think they were doing on the Steppes? Selling toiletries? They were farmers (when they weren’t stealing horses...like good politicians and store owners). We need to break up the factory farms and turn them into kibbutz. Do it everywhere around the world.
You want neighbors? Make communitarians. That was the goal of the original kibbutzim. Now is practically the ideal time for it. No reason you couldn’t also include technology in it. New farms will need new technologies at this stage in order to survive and prosper. And sustainability is the best marketing tool you can have right now. It’s a win-win.
Do you recall the Arab Spring? Do you recall it’s total failure to change the lives of the Arab populations? They do! Look at what is happening in the Arab world today, particularly in North Africa, but not exclusively. Offer the Palestinians something more hopeful and sustainable. Once you do, you can grow Jews like amaranth out of the ground.