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This article appears in the May 24, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

International Peace Coalition Meeting

Become the Good Samaritan!

[Print version of this article]

May 17—Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, opened today’s 50th meeting of the International Peace Coalition by discussing the attempted assassination of Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, referencing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s assessment that this must be seen in the context of preparation for war with Russia. The media had earlier attacked Fico, charging him with “polarization” because he had questioned the utility of the sanctions against Russia; had said that the Ukraine war began because of Nazi elements terrorizing the Donbass; and pointed out that NATO broke its 1990 promise to Russia not to move eastward. Fico’s would-be assassin belongs to an organization called “Progressive Slovakia,” which needs to be investigated further. Was he really a “lone assassin”?

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken has just said, in response to Russian statements, that Ukraine can do “whatever they decide” with U.S. weapons, but Zepp-LaRouche insisted, “all the weapons in the world cannot compensate for the fact that they are running out of soldiers.”

She went on to underscore the significance of the Putin-Xi strategic partnership, which is alarming Western elites, and noted the importance of South Africa going back to the International Court of Justice, demanding that Israel be made to implement the court’s rulings.

‘Peace Is a Good Investment’

Fr. Harry Bury, coordinator of the Nonviolent Cities Project of St. Paul, Minnesota, a leading member of Pax Christi and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, reported that Catholic bishops and nuns in Washington, Oregon, and Montana have put forward a peace plan for Gaza, calling for a ceasefire, mutual return of hostages, and a two-state solution. Significantly, the plan calls for development of Israel and Gaza, converging on the Oasis Plan, originally proposed in 1975 by economist Lyndon LaRouche. Fr. Bury emphasized that the Oasis Plan means not only development for Southwest Asia, but for the entire world. Reflecting on the economic experience of post–World War II history, he observed that the 1948–1952 Marshall Plan in Europe, and the 1945–1952 occupation and reconstruction of Japan, had worked: There is no mass emigration today from Germany and Japan. He concluded by saying, “Peace is a good investment.”

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, an American economist and public policy analyst, provided a video message: “The political solution is that there should be a state of Palestine, and it should live alongside the state of Israel, but the U.S. veto in the UN Security Council is the obstacle. The nations of the region are ready for peace with Israel, but they don’t want Palestine to live under an apartheid regime, or worse, a genocidal one. The American people and the world want Palestine to have rights. The U.S. government is hurting both itself, and Israel, which is seen as a war-crime state protected by the United States…. There is a water crisis, and desalination is the way forward,” referring to a major feature of the Oasis Plan.

Sachs warned that “Israel is absolutely radicalized, extremist, compared to 25 years ago,” saying we need a return to the 1967 borders and an economic framework to go along with that. He discussed Pope Francis’ 2020 encyclical, Fratelli tutti (All Brothers), insisting that the only way the world can be saved is for everyone to be like the Good Samaritan.

Prof. Sachs concluded by noting that Biden has not tried to speak to Putin even once since 2021, “That’s the telltale sign of the recklessness and stupidity of U.S. policy…. The U.S. does not have the idea of diplomacy. We have a Secretary of State, but we don’t have a diplomat.”

‘Don’t Do the Dirty Work of America’

Dr. Mubarak Awad, founder of Nonviolence International, described himself as a Christian Palestinian, deported in 1988 by Israel, and fully committed to the policy and practice of nonviolent direct action. To end the present cycle of violence, the Palestinians must stop killing the Israelis, welcome them as neighbors, and elect a Palestinian leadership. The Israelis must stop killing Palestinians, end the siege of Gaza, reverse the land grabs, and end apartheid. Don’t do the dirty work of America.

Dr. Awad told the media to stop using the word “terrorist” to describe actors on either side. To the Americans and Europeans, he says: There is no military solution. Stop supplying weapons for killing. We need a humanitarian solution for Gaza. Why build a port, instead of allowing open access by land? He applauded those Israelis that refuse to fight, and he expressed concern for those who return, traumatized, from Gaza. “Every country that attacks another has a problem with their returning soldiers.”

In response to Dr. Awad, Helga Zepp-LaRouche admonished, why does the international community stand by and watch this? If we cannot intervene when there is a genocide in front of the eyes of the world, what does that say about us?

Jason Ross provided a brief report on the IPC Energy Committee meeting for the Oasis Plan held this past week, which addressed the question of the plan’s technical requirements. A million cubic meters of water per day would be a good objective for desalination, and the Energy Committee will look at the sectors of engineering, water management, and construction required to bring this dream to fruition.

During the ensuing discussion period, a representative of the JFK Peace Speech Committee invited attendees to participate in their June 10 upcoming meeting on Zoom. The Committee is dedicated to the June 10, 1963, American University speech of President Kennedy, “possibly the most important speech ever made by an American President,” a bold attempt to reverse direction and move away from the Cold War.

Danish Schiller Institute leader Michelle Rasmussen reported on the Institute’s seminar in Denmark for diplomats, following the Schiller Institute’s April 13 Oasis Plan conference. Video and transcripts for the Danish conference are available here.

A professor in Nablus, West Bank, reminded the participants that the October 2023 attacks were not the cause of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He graphically conveyed the surreal character of life in Palestine—for those who have had no political involvement and no contact with Hamas at all—by reporting that he witnessed, in a village of 2,000 people near Nablus, three IDF jeeps entering the village, shooting it up for no reason, and then leaving as suddenly as they had arrived.

Can There Be ‘Just War’ in the Age of Nuclear Weapons?

Zepp-LaRouche, in her concluding remarks, mentioned the ongoing attempts to foment “color revolutions” in the dissident states of Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, and especially Georgia (see EIR, May 10, 2024, “Unrest in Georgia: Maidan Redux?”). During the discussion, a military veteran raised St. Augustine’s conception of a “just war,” suggesting that the Palestinians in Gaza might be seen as conducting a just war. In response, she proposed that nonviolence, as well as the concept of a just war, should be discussed by an IPC committee more intensively. She observed that in St. Augustine’s time (354–430 CE), nuclear weapons did not exist. The world today requires a shift in human identity. “Violence is a form of lack of development of the character of people,” she said. Returning to the idea of the Good Samaritan, she said that that idea is echoed in the “Kallias” letters of Schiller: The Good Samaritan embodies Schiller’s concept of the “beautiful soul,” whose emotions naturally lead him to do what is morally necessary. “We are in what may be the worst situation humanity has ever faced,” she said, “but it does no good to simply be upset; we have to use that energy to transform the situation. We must become good Samaritans, beautiful souls.”

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