I never went to Rome until my 50th birthday. It was my request instead of a party. The sights were amazing, but one stood out, in my mind, to this day. It wasn’t until I went to the Rome synagogue that we were told that, during the 1600s, thousands upon thousands of Jews were herded into a seven-acre radius – essentially creating the ghetto of Rome where they lived that way for three centuries. Unlike the Warsaw Ghetto and its famous reference, the ghetto of Rome is much less known.
Now the connection. I began the first day of 2023 by receiving a video that had, within hours, already turned viral. It is Katie Hopkins, described in Wikipedia as an English media personality, columnist and far-right political commentator – the delegitimizing label. In the clip, she talks about a plan which is unfolding in Oxford, England where the “15-minute city” will be enacted, all in the name of climate change. It involves the city being carved up into six sections with its residents being confined to their particular section.
She further warns that, although a pass will be made available 100 times per year, to enter a zone which is not yours, fines will be given in order to prevent the passage into someone else’s zone once you’ve used up your allotted amount.
My first reaction was to verify if the story was, at all, true. So, I wrote to three British friends, all of whom, within hours, confirmed that it was, indeed, true. They knew about it, and despite everyone having voted against the measure, it passed anyway, thanks to the city council members. It was then that a friend of mine sent me a fact-checking source from USA Today, attempting to debunk the entire story.
The fact checker essentially tries to say that the entire story is false, but that it will happen nonetheless. It’s a denial of what they definitely intend to do. They’re simply not calling it a move involving climate change. But it wasn’t until I read, “The surprising stickiness of the ’15-minute city’” on the World Economic Forum's website that I realized that this is the next shoe to drop.
It is literally being touted as “a new urbanism trend.” How else would it be framed since it’s connected to the World Economic Forum, the same players who are pushing globalization of every kind – from digital currency, to bug eating, to ditching cars? In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to not see this developing plan as a “good thing.” I urge you to take a quick look at this video clip produced by the WEF, called the 15-minute city. It is a cleverly packaged feast for the eyes, highlighting the amazing sights and sounds of Paris with nary a car in sight. All you see are iconic sights, colorful parks and flower markets, aerial views and the promise that everything is at your reach within 15 minutes.
It's all tempting and looks so good, yet, this is nothing more than the creation of a global ghetto – one where the movements of people are completely monitored at all times. Yes, in short, it’s another freedom being chipped away from a free population. It tells you where you can go and when you can go.
And if you think this is the stuff of conspiracy theories, then ignore it at your own peril, because the WEF is very invested in making sure this happens. Their clip also highlights Melbourne and Milan as two cities which are poised to go in this direction – so you can be sure that, they’ll waste no time, in bringing this Utopia to a neighborhood near you.
I can’t think of more ominous news to come out on the first day of a new year, but here it is. And I ask myself – who is coming up with these insidious ideas which are designed to, more or less, place us on a long leash which starts at home but ends only 15-minutes away from your front door? It would seem that we are on the precipice of the greatest power grab the world has ever known, and it all started with the Covid lockdowns. But according to the USA Today fact-checker, this is not a climate lockdown, and no one should say it is, because to do so would be tantamount to disseminating misinformation or disinformation – the same thing really.
I have to admit that, for a while now, I’ve been feeling that there is a calculated and coordinated effort to make driving one’s own car more and more uncomfortable. Little by little, lanes were being quietly appropriated for public transport or multiple passengers in a car, squeezing all the rest of us into two narrow lanes which cannot possibly accommodate the number of cars on today’s roads.
Yet, just like the lack of proper infrastructure which presently does not exist to warrant buying an EV (electric vehicle), the lack of available public transportation to cover all routes simply doesn’t exist either, so we’re left with being forced to drive our cars under very uncomfortable circumstances or paying through the nose to take a private taxi in order to get to a destination which a bus or train doesn’t provide.
What’s the solution? Stay at home! Adapt yourself to a 15-minute existence of shops, services and people – the true ghetto experience of 2023 – one which has been constructed for your ultimate comfort, consideration and pleasure, because you don’t need more than what they say you need!
If eating bugs is what’s best for the planet, then that’s what you’ll eat. If being confined to a glorified house arrest which generously allots you the luxury of a 15-minute radius, then that’s all you’ll need. Who are we to think we know better than the WEF who believes it's time to restrict freedom of movement and all other freedoms as well?
My British friend, although confident that this measure will not happen in Oxford, due to the pushback, is not convincing me. This is because I truly believe that the heart of man has crossed the Rubicon. We, as a species, are ironically invested in destroying ourselves and destroying every wonderful freedom which has been given to us through our Creator. We are literally the lost sheep so often described in the Scriptures, but in this case, it is we who are leading ourselves to the slaughter.
It is not pleasant to write about such things at the dawning of a new year – fresh with anticipation and hope of better things to come. However, not to do so is, in some ways, accommodating ideas which will change life as we know it and overtake us all when we least expect them. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all of us to think about these things. We should do our own research and, if they bother us enough, voice our dissent loudly and often. This will ensure that, if it does happen, it wasn’t for lack of doing our utmost to prevent it from occurring.
Wishing each of us a 2023 bathed in freedom, liberty and personal choice – the very gifts endowed upon us by the Almighty!
A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.