In peacetime, that is, as long as the
Temple exists, the fast days will be times of joy and happiness. If there are harsh decrees of a foreign government, then there is to be fasting; if there is no decree but there is no peace, such as now, at the present time [my emphasis], those who wish to fast may fast, and those who wish not to fast need not fast.
It is indeed sad and scary that we are living in a time of
“harsh decrees of a foreign government”
May we all soon merit to know true peace in Israel and around the world.