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Humanitarian Pause Must Become an Inflection Point Amidst Backdrop of World War

A five-year-old boy drinks bottled water delivered by UNICEF in the Khan Younis camp in Gaza. ©UNICEF/Eyad El Baba X page.

The brief, although successful ceasefire achieved this week between Israel and Hamas represents a substantial opening in the efforts to avoid a rush to world war. Hostages were released from both sides on both Friday, Nov. 24 and again Saturday, Nov. 25, to much fanfare in both countries. As the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said: “at present tempers are exacerbated, it is very difficult even to have a somewhat more serene, somewhat more reasonable approach. When there is war it also produces these fruits.…” The ceasefire this week opens the door for this kind of “more reasonable approach” if we act on it, one which should be leveraged toward the holding of an international peace conference to establish a more durable solution

Even more importantly, this occurrence shows that breakthroughs are indeed possible, as this was not in the cards even a few days ago. Israeli officials and Prime Minister Netanyahu swore that no negotiations or ceasefires would occur until all hostages were released by Hamas, and they had rejected all demands to stop the horrific killing of civilians in Gaza. Now, following a whirlwind of diplomatic activity which included leaders of the Arab and Islamic world, a selection of leaders in Europe, and the United States, Israel has been forced to back down and accept a temporary ceasefire.

Nonetheless, it is only an opening. The fundamental geopolitical madness which led to this conflict, as also the conflict in Ukraine and other long-simmering conflicts around the world, is still alive and controlling much of NATO countries and their vassals. It is this geopolitical curse which must be seized upon and an alternative fostered, such as the immediate holding of an international peace conference, while the current opening exists. On Friday, the same day that the ceasefire took effect in Gaza, the X account of the U.S. Mission to NATO made a brazen post featuring a large display of armored vehicles, under the headline: “Firepower show off.” It went on to state: “We agreed to the most comprehensive defense plans since the end of the Cold War designed to counter the two main threats to our Alliance: Russia and terrorism.”

This echoes a November report by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), which asserted that Germany and NATO as a whole must begin to ramp up efforts over the coming 5-9 years in order to be able to “deter and fight Russia.” Russia is “the greatest and most urgent threat to NATO countries,” the report claims, and demands that NATO use these coming years to “enable their armed forces to deter and, if necessary, fight against Russia.”

This twisted outlook, which would ignore the blatant failures of the West’s attempted confrontation against Russia and its “rules-based order” more generally, can never lead to a lasting and durable peace in the world, but only to a nuclear world war with any who challenge it. Does this make those who oppose this policy “anti-American,” “anti-democratic,” or “pro-terrorist”? Clearly, a different, more human outlook is needed.

On Sunday, Humanity For Peace and the International Peace Coalition will hold a special event on this subject that will include a screening of the recent documentary “8:15 Hiroshima: From Father to Daughter.” The documentary tells the tale of the only time nuclear weapons have been used, in the case of Japan at the close of World War II, and has been described by its director as a message “about the power of love and forgiveness and a wish for world peace.”

The film’s director, J.R. Heffelfinger, speaking at a Humanity For Peace event on Sept. 21, 2023 outside the United Nations, said this of the documentary and the situation the world finds itself in today: “It’s hard to ignore that our world stands on a more dangerous precipice—one surely arrived at with a history of violence and clenched fists—and like the ticking of [a] clock, like the sound of our hearts beating, there is a call—that we open our hands and that we embrace one another as a global family. A reminder that though the hands of time move closer to midnight—our destiny is in our hands.”

Join the LaRouche movement’s mobilization over these coming hours and days to create a breakthrough that can put the world on a track of a real future. Never before has it been as true that our destiny really is in our hands.