Thursday, August 22, 2019 -
Print Edition

Living in interesting times

There’s a well known saying: May you live in interesting times.

Purportedly of Chinese origin (although no source in any Chinese language has ever been produced), the phrase, while opening with the language of a blessing — “may you” — is often used ironically to express a curse.

Earlier this week, Great Britain triggered the long awaited Article 50, which informs the European Union of its intention to leave. It only took nine months following the surprise “Brexit” referendum result of June, 2016, but the letter has now been officially sent. Interesting times, indeed.

What does this mean for the US-UK relationship vis-a-vis the US-EU relationship?

Will this have a net positive or negative effect on trade?

Will the UK — previously locked into EU policy — now be able to take different positions on Israel regarding, for example, settlement boycotts? For that matter, how long will the UK remain the UK? Scotland is already threatening a new independence referendum.

These — and many, many others — are all questions whose answers are as yet unknown.

On this side of the pond, we’re also deep into our own interesting times. We have elected a president with no political experience — certainly a risky gamble. We now wait to see whether that was a smart bet or a foolhardy protest vote.

Interesting times. Whether they will ultimately be for a blessing or a curse, only the future knows.

Copyright © 2017 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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