This editorial appears in the November 10, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Tragedy Is a Choice—Reject It!
Nov. 4—“What Is, and To What End, Do We Study Universal History?” That is the name of the famous given by Germany’s greatest poet, and greatest historian, Friedrich Schiller, in Jena in 1789; it is also the essential question to be asked, and answered, by all those who would, even at this late hour, still qualify themselves to quickly but successfully face the moral challenges lying immediately ahead for a humanity that, at least in the trans-Atlantic sector, is fast losing the moral fitness to survive.
In her opening remarks Nov. 3 to the 22nd weekly meeting of the International Peace Coalition, Helga Zepp-LaRouche said,
I can only say that the only way we can get out of this is that we have to move to a completely new order. We have to get rid of geopolitics forever. It has to be really put behind us that it is a legitimate course of action to have the interests of one group of nations against the interests of another group of nations, which is the stuff out of which two world wars have happened already. Obviously, this arrogant insistence of the West, that they are the better ones and they are the ones who know everything—that really has to stop! We have to move to a system in which the interests of all nations, both in respect to their security interests as well as their right for development, are respected.
Lyndon LaRouche was warned many decades ago by a prominent Israeli figure, commenting on the prospects for LaRouche’s 1975 International Development Bank to be adopted as the essential component for a Mideast peace proposal, “Mr. LaRouche, never underestimate the factor of insanity in politics.” In the name of continued, durable human survival, and of avoiding thrusting humanity into a civilization-ending, and perhaps “religiously motivated” thermonuclear war, here is a spiritual exercise, as well as a thought-experiment, in universal history, which each of us should seek to resolve, in the name of those 10,000 and more people recently murdered in Southwest Asia.
The Courage of Yitzak Rabin
On Nov. 4, 1995, twenty-eight years ago today, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Ten years ago, in commemoration of the life of the assassinated Rabin, the Schiller Institute observed:
Yitzhak Rabin was no “peacenik.” Born in Jerusalem in 1922, he had fought for the independence of Israel from Great Britain in 1947–48, and played a commanding role in the 1967 war. During his tenure as Prime Minister, between 1984 and 1988, the Israeli government fought bitterly against the Palestinian Intifada; and over those years and the years that followed, he showed no sign of softening toward the recognition of a Palestinian state. He became Prime Minister again in 1992.
Yet in 1993, Rabin braved the wrath of the fanatics of his country, among others, in order to forge the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority, and to sign a treaty with Yasser Arafat. His words at the signing ceremony, held under the eyes of President Clinton, deserve to be etched in our memories:
“Let me say to you, the Palestinians, we are destined to live together on the same soil in the same land. We, the soldiers who have returned from battles stained with blood; we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes; we, who have attended their funerals and cannot look into the eyes of their parents; 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 a clear voice, enough of blood and tears. Enough!
“We have no desire for revenge; we harbor no hatred towards you. We, like you, are people—people who want to build a home, to plant a tree, to love, live side by side with you in dignity, in affinity, as human beings, as free men. We are today giving peace a chance and saying to you, and saying again to you: Enough. Let us pray that a day will come when we all will say: Farewell to the arms.
“We wish to open a new chapter in the sad book of our lives together, a chapter of mutual recognition, of good neighborliness, of mutual respect, of understanding. We hope to embark on a new era in the history of the Middle East.”
Two years later, when Oslo was under increased assault by those he called the Israeli “ayatollahs,” Rabin encapsulated his thoughts on the change that was required to reach a peace. In a toast to President Clinton and [Jordan’s] King Hussein at the conclusion of the negotiations on Middle East peace on July 25, 1995, Rabin said:
If I raise my toast, I will raise it for those who have the courage to change axioms, to overcome prejudices, to change realities, and those who make it possible to them—for you, Your Majesty [King Hussein of Jordan]; to you, President Clinton; to all those who believe and support and are ready to assist the continuation of peace in the region. L’Chaim. L’Chaim. [To life.]
Rabin resolved to become greater, to overcome tragedy, and to rise above himself, his circumstances, and his time, to speak for all humanity, and for universal history. He, like Martin Luther King, “went to the mountain-top, to see the Promised Land.”
The Nightmare of Benjamin Netanyahu
In the Spring of 1996, months after the assassination, it was Benjamin Netanyahu who narrowly defeated Rabin’s collaborator, former Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres, to become head of government. Leah Rabin, wife of the slain Rabin, said of Netanyahu in 1998,
I hope, pray, that the days of this government are numbered. Benjamin Netanyahu is a corrupt individual, a contentious liar who is ruining everything that is good about our society. He is breaking it to bits, and in the future, we will have to rebuild it all over.
In 1999, she said,
We all want this nightmare to end, that this monstrosity called Netanyahu will get lost, because he exhausted our patience a long time ago.
But the monstrosity did not end. Netanyahu left office in 1999, but returned ten years later, serving from 2009–2021, and again, starting in December 2022.
The Question Before Us
Here is the question for us: After multiple wars and police actions; tens of billions of dollars spent in military hardware; complete control of Gaza’s skies, waters, and borders; complete militarization of its own population; constant surveillance and infiltration; clandestine funding and support for Hamas, in opposition to the Palestinian Authority, to foment division, including violent division among the Palestinians; illegal seizure of lands in the West Bank; and absolute control over entrance and exit from Gaza for nearly two decades, did Israel under Netanyahu become more safe, more just, and a better nation than it was under Rabin? And what does that mean about what must be done, now, not only in Southwest Asia, but also in Ukraine, and in every other condition of global conflict?
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs said in an Oct. 31 statement, that Israel needed to be saved,
not from Hamas, which lacks the means to defeat Israel militarily, but from itself. Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, verging on the crime of genocide, threaten to destroy Israel’s civil, political, economic, and cultural relations with the rest of the world.… Israel’s friends, starting with the U.S., must help it choose diplomacy over war. Friends do not let friends commit crimes against humanity, much less provide them with the finances and arms to do so.
But friends who are equally polluted by the same addiction to geopolitics, and therefore to tragedy, as those whom they would advise, cannot advise them differently. Certainly, Tony “Hoochie Coochie Man” Blinken’s State Department lacks the culture for survival, other than that of the cutthroat office bureaucrat. It is rather left to us, the citizens of the United States, Europe and the world, to bring into existence a higher culture, a culture that fights for the dignity of humanity, with such weapons that are fit for that ideal.
The State Department rejected, decades ago, a proposal by Helga Zepp-LaRouche—that the United States supplement Lyndon LaRouche’s 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) proposal with a corresponding initiative toward all nations, emphasizing the best of each national culture, including that of one’s adversaries. Their lack of insight then reveals the hereditary flaw in all American (and Anglo-American) subsequent, and present, incompetent approaches to policy, let alone the disastrous “regime-change” wars (falsely described as “nation-building projects”) of the past 35 years.
That Zepp-LaRouche outlook on humanity embedded in her rejected proposal, led to the creation of the Schiller Institute in 1984. From that time until today, the Schiller Institute has championed the axiom-changing “coincidence of opposites” method, pioneered by the great thinker and diplomat, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th Century, because it stands the greatest chance of thwarting the impending, looming tragedy and mass carnage that need not befall Southwest Asia, yet once again.
In these next days, the Schiller Institute will be calling attention to Friedrich Schiller’s unrecognized significance for correcting the tragic mistakes of current history, through poetry, beauty, and the study of universal history, in the service of bringing about a new world strategic and economic architecture.
This is a time, our time, to rise above tragedy, as Yitzhak Rabin did.