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To Prevent Regional and Global War, Support South Africa’s Efforts To Challenge Israeli Policy

Helga Zepp-LaRouche. EIRNS/Sergei Strid

In a process springing from the efforts of the International Peace Coalition, Helga Zepp-LaRouche participated in a dialogue among religious leaders and activists to discuss the urgent need to prevent the expanding Israel-Gaza conflict from exploding into regional and global war.

The Jan. 2 killing of a Hamas leader in Lebanon and the Jan. 3 terrorist bombing of a cemetery memorial service in Iran, raise the danger of counter-reaction leading to counter-reaction, of revenge and anger leading to more revenge and more anger, of the region—and beyond—going up in nuclear smoke. Attacks and provocations committed under false attribution could have disastrous effects in this climate of conflict.

Inspiration can be taken from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor and anti-Nazi activist, who insisted that his religious duty was not simply to comfort the afflicted, but to prevent evil in the first place. The church should not simply “bandage the victims under the wheel, but jam a spoke in the wheel itself,” he said in 1933, in opposition to Hitler’s persecution of the Jews.

One of the most effective ways today of jamming a spoke into the wheels of war is to support the efforts of South Africa in calling Israel to account at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice for violations of the Genocide Convention. South Africa, which has addressed the evils of apartheid domestically, carries enormous moral weight in its decision to institute proceedings against Israel before the ICJ, on the basis that Israel’s actions “are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent … to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.”

On Dec. 30, a group of organizations, including Veterans for Peace, CodePink, Democracy for the Arab World Now, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Black Alliance for Peace, among others, issued a call (archive link) to organize other nations to support South Africa’s case at the ICJ, including by submitting what are called Declarations of Intervention, to make their views known.

“We, the undersigned organizations, commend South Africa on its Application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) invoking the Genocide Convention against Israel,” the letter opens. “We now urge other countries to reinforce this strongly worded and well-argued complaint by immediately filing a Declaration of Intervention with the ICJ, also called the World Court.”

In the United States, a group of current staff members of President Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign have published an open letter urging Biden, for both moral and electoral reasons, to demand “an immediate, permanent ceasefire” and to “end the conditions of apartheid, occupation, and ethnic cleansing that are the root causes of this conflict.” They state that, “As your staff, we believe it is both a moral and electoral imperative for you to publicly call for a cessation of violence.” They urge the occupant of the White House to listen to “the two-thirds of the country and three-quarters of our fellow Democrats who support a ceasefire.”

This letter follows the October 19 letter from Muslim and Jewish Capitol Hill staffers, the November 8 letter by more than 500 named staff members of the Democratic Party and Biden’s 2020 campaign (which serves as a model for the January 3 letter), and the November 14 letter signed by 500 political appointees and staff members from 40 government agencies protesting Biden’s support for Israel’s deadly policy.

Also in the United States, American economist Jeffrey Sachs has published a powerful article stating that “Israel’s brutality in Gaza is becoming a true threat to Israel’s survival” and, “The only path to real security for Israel is peace with Palestine.” And a group of protestors interrupted the proceedings of the California legislature with their demands for ceasefire.

Such pressure from within the United States is needed, but will it be enough? Independent candidate for U.S. Senate Diane Sare said at a Jan. 2 campaign fundraiser that an enormous effort is required to transform the United States: “There is nothing else worth doing. We don’t have a choice.”

Sare: “If we restore the United States’s anti-colonial identity, we will save the world!”

People of all nations can participate in creating the conditions for a world transformation in which the countries of Anglo-American NATO abandon hegemonism and adopt productive missions for the growth of the human species, in which regional cooperation will trump local conflicts, in which mankind can leave its infancy, and focus on the truly important things in life: science, space, beautiful Classical culture, and growth.