This article appears in the October 27, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Schiller Institute Emergency Statement
Westphalia, Not Versailles: The World Needs an ‘Oasis Plan’ in the Middle East!
The international Schiller Institute released the following statement Oct. 17, 2023. Embedded links have been added.
The choice is no longer between violence and non-violence. The choice is between non-violence and non-existence.
Oct. 17—United Nations Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese warned Oct. 14 that:
In the name of self-defense, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing…. Israel has already carried out mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians under the fog of war.
Southwest Asia is now the staging ground for what is the latest phase of the World War III now being fought against Russia and China. Sometimes that war is called “Ukraine/Russia”; once it was called “Afghanistan”; today, it is called “the Middle East.” Few dare call it by its real name. As J. Robert Oppenheimer noted in an interview: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
The lives of millions—two million people in Gaza, and millions of others, of different faiths and nations nearby—hang in the balance. Humanity must act; it is already nearly too late. The nation of China, now hosting 140 nations at the Belt and Road Forum, expressed a view last week with which all sane people would agree:
The UN has the responsibility and obligation to play its due role on the Palestinian question, [and China] supports the Security Council in holding an emergency meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, agrees that the meeting should focus on humanitarian concerns, demand a ceasefire, an end to violence and the protection of civilians, form a binding international consensus and take concrete next steps.
Will this thinking prevail? Or will the Anglo-American-“NATO” financial alliance and war party, through its scheming, arrogant folly, destroy itself and most life on the planet through an “unintentional” thermonuclear war, triggered by religious fanaticism and the erupting orgy of retributive violence in Southwest Asia, otherwise still known by its British colonial name as “the Middle East”? The credibility and even the very survival of the United Nations is now on the line.
The cycle of perpetual violence, consuming generation after generation, once more pollutes and desecrates the holy places of worship and monuments in the common meeting ground of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is now being widely reported by publications of record that there was a compact between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and elements within Hamas to undermine peace. The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on Oct. 9 that, “Between 2012 and 2018, Netanyahu gave Qatar approval to transfer a cumulative sum of about a billion dollars to Gaza, at least half of which reached Hamas, including its military wing.” Ha’aretz also quotes Netanyahu “according to the Jerusalem Post” as making the following statement on March 11, 2019:
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas, and transferring money to Hamas,” Netanyahu told his Likud party’s Knesset members in March 2019, “This is part of our strategy.”
What really happened on Oct. 7 is still to be investigated. The timing of the attack could not have been worse—or better. Ongoing discussions among several nations of the region, including between Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as with China and other out-of-area nations, are seeking to replace deep-seated, long-term conflict with a new era of international economic cooperation, through designs such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Whatever motivation was provided to the operatives of the Hamas-originated attack, its effect has been to interfere with the progress of that very sensitive process. Those initiatives are now threatened. Much, as with the events of Oct. 7, is now unclear.
What is clear, is the atrocities that have occurred on that day and since, and the atrocities that are to come. Will the world stand by now, as it did in the First Iraq War of 1991 and its aftermath, and watch the merciless killing of children as it did then, when 500,000 Iraqi children were murdered through sanctions and war over five years? On May 12, 1996, United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, responding to correspondent Lesley Stahl, after the reporter pointed out that “that’s more children than died in Hiroshima,” said, “I think this is a very hard choice. But the price, we think, the price is worth it.”
Who is the “we” of which Albright spoke? Did that include the people of the United States, or Europe, then? Does it include you, now? Do you really believe, or accept, that the civilian population of Gaza, or anywhere, must be removed and sent to another country as a result of a “9/11”-style attack on Israel by forces that we are told were being financially and otherwise supported by Netanyahu, et al.?
In a macabre “simple twist of fate,” nearly 2 million people are now to be displaced by the armies of the nation whose ancestors were themselves displaced, and their whole communities eradicated, time and again, virtually everywhere in the world. The 19th- and 20th-Century British colonialists, who drew the lines of this present conflict on maps in 1916 and 1917, could not be more pleased.
Colonialism, however, is over—or should be. Militarily forced migrations of people must be vigorously opposed anywhere in the world, whatever the apparent justification. One atrocity should not answer another. The barbaric “purgative violence” that Hamas engaged in on Oct. 7, must be denounced by all—but killing thousands of the sick, elderly, and young as “collateral damage in the cause of just retribution” is an antidote worse than the disease. It will ensure that the disease will not be cured, but will instead spread.
When Yitzhak Rabin, who as Israeli Defense Minister fought Palestinians in the 1987–93 Intifada, realized, as one of his senior officers put it, that “deep in my heart, I know that what we are doing will prompt others to react against us violently in revenge,” he changed his approach. Rabin, in his July 1992 speech after becoming Prime Minister a month earlier, said: Security is not only a tank, an aircraft, a missile ship. Security is also a man’s education, housing, schools, the street and neighborhood, the society in which he grew up. And security is also that man’s hope.
Prime Minister Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres began the secret Oslo Peace Accords process with the Palestine Liberation Organization, and signed a Declaration at the White House, Sept. 13, 1993. There, Rabin said:
We who have come from a land where parents bury their children, we who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today in a loud and clear voice: Enough of blood and tears, enough!
Rabin’s most enduring words were uttered later, in his famous toast to all humanity: Let us toast “those with the courage to change their axioms.”
Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by Israeli religious extremists—or was it the “International Assassination Bureau,” the people that killed Mohandas Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and many, many others? The memory of Yitzhak Rabin should inform the investigation of the events of Oct. 7. There is something else that should be done, in the name of the martyred Rabin, and the martyred peace process for which he gave his life.
There must be a peace package, an “Oasis Plan,” that, instead of spreading weapons, gives economic stability and even prosperity to the people of Southwest Asia, including the Palestinians. Unless you put, not boots on the ground, but shovels in the ground, you will never upturn the roots of hate and division in that entire area, roots that precede and are even more deeply embedded than today’s Israel-Palestine conflict. Advanced energy, water, and transportation infrastructure for Southwest Asia as a whole will be a central feature, around which hope can coalesce.
We must take a page from the new “Colonialism Is Over” movement that is the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and its associated nations worldwide. Southwest Asian and African nations Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Iran are all about to join the BRICS formation. This will help to bring the voice of the Global South to bear, instead of only that of “Global NATO,” which is dominated by the old imperialisms of Europe and the self-destructive foreign and financial policies of the United States.
Immediately, we must do what China and other nations are suggesting. We must stop the forced migration from Gaza. We must stop the daily killing through a ceasefire—and even before that—by all means available. The United Nations must enforce its Resolution 242, adopted November 22, 1967 and affirmed by Israel on May 1, 1968, which consists of two propositions: “(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”
Let it, however, be clear: There is no possibility of actually solving the British imperialism-originated “Middle East crisis” without the kind of long-term, meticulous, even tedious deliberations that took place from 1644–48 in Westphalia and elsewhere in Germany, to end the murderous Thirty Years’ War in Europe.
Speaking at Central Connecticut State University in 2009, the economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche put it this way:
There is a solution, a solution in principle. And the solution is: End this blasted imperialist system! And understand that we, as a people, must develop our spiritual culture; that is, the creative powers of mankind, to carry further the development of mankind, from some brutish character by a campfire a million years ago, or so, into mankind as we desire that mankind should develop today. That’s the issue.
LaRouche’s solution-concept requires a change in axioms. Principle Ten of Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s “Ten Principles of a New International Security and Development Architecture,” written in November 2022 following the outbreak of the NATO-Russia war in Ukraine, restates it:
The basic assumption for the new paradigm is, that man is fundamentally good and capable to infinitely perfect the creativity of his mind and the beauty of his soul, and being the most advanced geological force in the universe, which proves that the lawfulness of the mind and that of the physical universe are in correspondence and cohesion, and that all evil is the result of a lack of development, and therefore can be overcome.
This is the principle which must replace the suicidal axioms now held by the doomed combatants in the no-win “Israel-Palestine conflict.”
But Lyndon LaRouche also warned:
In the meantime, we will fight. We will do everything possible to try to get peace in this area, because we want to stop the killing. But we’re not going to tell somebody, we’ve got a solution that’s going to be accepted, that’s going to work. We’re going to say, we’ve got a hopeless cause, and we’re going to continue to fight for it.
That hopeless cause is the cause of peace. Another warrior for peace, American President John F. Kennedy, said it this way, at American University, June 10, 1963:
First: Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable—that mankind is doomed—that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.
We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade—therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable—and we believe they can do it again.
The alternative to the “foolish” pursuit of peace undertaken by John F. Kennedy, Yitzhak Rabin, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and others, is World War Three, a war which has now already begun. We are already “become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” The question is: Do we, as did Yitzhak Rabin, have the courage to change our axioms in time to reverse what we have already begun?