Prepare for the overdue “big one”

July 13, 2018 by Michael Kuttner
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Anticipated major earthquakes both geophysical and political are long overdue…writes Michael Kuttner.

Michael Kuttner

Northern Israel especially around the Galilee and Lake Kinneret has experienced a series of minor rumblings in recent weeks measuring 3 or 4 on the Richter scale. Although not bad enough to cause injury or serious damage it has rattled many people who have never lived through such shaking in the past. These ongoing quakes have finally galvanized the authorities to address the deficiencies in homes and public buildings which were constructed before more stringent regulations were introduced in the early 1980’s.

Israel sits on an earthquake prone fault line (Syrian-African rift) which runs up the Jordan valley and in the past major damage and loss of life has resulted from serious shakes. Experts are warning that it is only a matter of time before the next big earthquake happens – in fact we are overdue.

For those of us growing up in New Zealand this sounds all too familiar. Situated on the notorious Pacific ring of fire the country is very prone to major earthquakes and in our over forty years of living there we experienced quite a number of them. No matter how many times one practices and prepares the fact that one has no control over the strength or duration of the event demonstrates how impotent human beings are in the face of nature’s destructive forces.

There are some who fervently believe that the tremors we are now experiencing are divine warnings which we ignore at our peril. The Torah describes how Korach and his supporters disappeared when the ground split open and we all know that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed when a major geophysical eruption took place. Likewise Jericho’s walls collapsed at a critical moment. Whether these disasters took place because of divine intervention or because of natural phenomena the fact is they did occur and the results were massive losses of lives and property.

As is normal in a country where the majority of citizens are Jews there are multitudes of opinions as to why the ground is moving now and also as to what it portends and what we should do about it. These range from theological to scientific, from changing our behavior and way of life to investing millions in strengthening our infrastructure.

Whichever option one chooses the irrefutable fact remains that “the big one” is coming at some stage and we better do something about it.

Meanwhile in the unstable world of politics and international relations the prospects for the “big one” are increasing by the day. Unlike the geophysical variety most of these can be predicted fairly accurately although the outcome is not always 100% certain.

Surveying current trends we can discern certain inevitabilities.

Israel: Sooner rather than later the PM is going to be indicted for various alleged misdemeanors. This will precipitate a major upheaval and all those who believe they are saviours of the country will launch campaigns to convince voters that they alone can succeed in saving us. Even politicians whose use by date has already expired but who have inflated egos larger than the helium inflated condoms now causing damage down south are already pontificating. The result will be political chaos and no doubt ensuing elections. We need all this like a hole in the head but that unfortunately is the inevitable fallout of political instability.


Iran: This country lies atop a major series of fault lines. Its nuclear facilities are built in areas which inevitably have the potential to be damaged and cause enormous loss of life. At the same time if American sanctions keep biting and European appeasement finally fails the economic and social collapse of the regime will follow. Iran’s long-suffering young people will not tolerate a repressive regime and high unemployment for too much longer. The resultant “big bang” will eclipse anything previously seen.


ABBAS:  The coming upheaval will be a major jolt. Abbas and his corrupt cronies cannot survive too much longer and their exit will start a chain reaction which will eclipse anything seen so far. Rewarding terrorists and their families with international aid can only last so long before the truth seeps out. Sooner rather than later donor nations will pull the plug and even though China and others may try to keep the PA afloat the inevitable earthquake will occur. Likewise Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon & Syria will suffer the consequences when the “big one” strikes.


UK: The tremors now shaking the British establishment will increase with frequency and severity. It is quite likely that political chaos will break out and the end result could be major damage. If Corbyn and the hard left Labour Party benefit as a result we can confidently expect widespread aftershocks and continuing instability. Either way, the UK is fated to experience major fissures and no amount of stiff upper lips will help. Even winning the FIFA world cup would not have salvaged the situation.


EUROPE & SCANDINAVIA: Major political quakes registering 8 and above on the Richter scale can be anticipated. The EU is a doomed enterprise destined to implode under the combined weight of economic basket cases, illegal immigration, social disintegration and a rising volume of anti Jewish and anti Israel tremors. Its obsessive funding of anti Israel NGO’s, a slavish appeasement of Iran and continuing dictatorial edicts from Brussels will spell its eventual demise. Chancellor Merkel has had a good run but she is running out of time. President Macron displaying all his Gallic arrogance will ultimately create more fissures. A rising crescendo of Islamic inspired terror will be the final nail in the EU coffin.


USA: President Trump is shaking up the country as no President has ever done before. When the dust settles we will see a different landscape. Whether it results in a better or worse country and world, remains to be seen. If he is re-elected things will not be the same again. If the radical left gains power we can expect major upheavals which will pitch the USA into a lethal abyss.


TURKEY: Now that the newly empowered leader has demolished most opposition the march to recreate Ottoman imperial rule will intensify. As the country falters under the weight of economic and social fissures its Jewish and Kurdish minorities will be blamed. Inevitably there will be an upheaval the magnitude of which cannot be accurately predicted.


NORTH KOREA & CHINA: How long will it take before two of the world’s largest Communist systems collapse? History teaches us that one can suppress freedoms and liberties for only a certain time. As pressures build up for democratic changes the ability to avoid major disaster diminishes.


There are many more fault lines poised to inflict lasting damage around the world.

We live in unstable times and nobody, not even the greatest experts, can predict when the next “big one” will strike. Recognizing the possible dangers and preparing to minimize any impact seems to be our best course of action.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

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