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Jon Ramer's picture
November 30, 2023
by Jon Ramer

October 7th 2023 marks another turning point, a day when the world's ongoing turmoil reached a new peak. Faced with this latest crisis, one that challenges our understanding and tests our resilience, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. The global narrative seems to be one of madness – a world fixated on conflict and blame, as if certainty still reigns in these uncertain times. This paper aims to address this paradox, offering insights into how we can break free from this collective spell and cultivate mighty compassion amidst the chaos.

Beyond Borders: Embracing Empathy in a Divided World

Raised as an American Jew in Brooklyn and now living by the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest, my life's journey through varied cultures and beliefs has deeply shaped my worldview. Rooted in a love for Israel and a post-Holocaust 'never again' ethos, I've always been acutely aware of my heritage amidst global biases. This awareness was profoundly altered after my daughter's 5 years in Israel and 10 year stay in Palestine, shedding light on the intricate nature of historical conflicts and human rights issues. Her experiences led me to re-examine Jewish teachings, especially against the backdrop of Israel's policies towards Palestinians.

Informed by the Jewish principle of 'Tikkun Olam' — the call to repair the world through social justice — I strongly believe in the Talmudic directive of empathy and fairness, 'What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow'. 

In my view, this ethic mandates a moral responsibility for Israel to pursue a fair and just approach with the Palestinians, aligning with fundamental Jewish values. Sadly, both Israeli and Palestinian institutions are not meeting these moral standards, failing to provide ethical governance and a path to a better future for their people. 

Motivated by the stark disconnect between societal values and the actions of influential institutions, I shifted my focus post-9/11. With two decades of experience in large-scale business collaboration software, where the interplay of language and action is pivotal, I began collaborating to create a new model of economic democracy with Dee Hock, the...