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World Court of Conscience: Oasis Plan Development for Peace

Israeli irrigation project. Credit: CC/Mark Perelmuter

The beginning of the coming week is the deadline for Israel to comply with the Jan. 26 directive of the World Court (UN International Court of Justice) whose sixth and last point of its instruction was that Israel had a month, making it Feb. 26, by which time, to report back on its improvement in the five areas of relieving the conditions of Palestinians in Gaza, and stopping the IDF assault. It will be no surprise if Israel formally snubs the Court, by refusing to provide a report. The world has watched in horror as Israel has intensified every one of its attacks in Gaza—from shelling, to food cut-off, water cut-off, medical cut-off—whose overall status the Court deemed a month ago was “plausible” as genocide.

Informally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday provided his reply to the Court and the world. He released a statement of his “principles” on Gaza post-war governance to the Knesset, and publicly. The one-page document lists actions such as “demilitarization,” rule by Israel-approved “local officials,” and rebuilding by only “friends” of Israel. Netanyahu states that the aid agency UNRWA is forever banned from the region. In sum, his plan—made very public—is massive destruction and total control.

The United States has aided and abetted Netanyahu at every turn, by continuing to send in arms, and on Feb. 20, by vetoing—for the third time, a proposed UN Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza.

There are fierce denunciations of Israel and the United States. After the United States’ sole Security Council veto this week, an Egypt spokesman called the U.S. veto “a disgraceful action in the history of the West.” Chinese Legal Advisor and representative at the ICJ Ma Xinmin said that what is happening in Gaza is “a litmus test for the collective conscience of humanity.” He spoke Feb. 22 at The Hague, where the World Court is taking testimony all week, and will speak on Feb. 26, in its review of Israel’s conduct in the Palestinian territories since 1967. This was mandated by the UN General Assembly, which issued the directive to the Court in December 2022.

It is dramatically clear that there are profound shifts in world opinions. The G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brazil over Feb. 21-22 could come to no consensus for a concluding declaration.

Meanwhile, the dire situation in Gaza is unspeakable. Yesterday, a joint statement was issued by all the major humanitarian relief agencies, through their Inter-Agency Standing Committee, warning against a pending Israeli invasion of Rafah. As the Director of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Feb. 21, “Gaza has become a death zone.” A week from today, UNRWA will shut down entirely. It has been the main relief agency for Palestinians throughout the entire region, since 1949, including refugees in neighboring and third countries, until the U.S. and over a dozen other nations cut funding to UNRWA on Jan. 30.

What can be done in this terrible context? Activists from many nations discussed this today at the 38th weekly meeting of the International Peace Coalition, at which its initiator, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, leader of the Schiller Institute, said emphatically, that “our job is to provide the solution of optimism.” This means to provide the reality of how all can act in the best interests of all. Go out everywhere with the Oasis Plan, as the means to free Palestine, and bring development and peace.

There are two notable developments today. In Germany, a legal case has been officially requested of the Federal Prosecutor, to press charges of complicity in genocide against Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner, for acts including supplying arms to Israel.

Secondly, there is an international initiative in this same spirit. It is reported that the Arab Group in the UN General Assembly is considering filing a resolution whose text calls for an arms boycott against Israel. Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour spoke of this on Feb. 22 to reporters saying, that the draft being prepared, “will include practical matters, among which is the call for countries not to sell weapons to Israel or supply it with ammunition, and also to deal with the settlers and not give them travel visas to any country.”

Zepp-LaRouche, in concluding remarks, called for “a chorus” of demands and discussions for the Oasis Plan approach. Without that, the deteriorating situation—on many fronts, will see millions of migrants, desperation, and likelihood of explosion into World War III.

Instead, if we provide a solution orientation, the Oasis Plan can truly give inspiration for hope in the immediate, desperate Gaza area, and in the greater region. It once was the land, from the Trans-Jordan, through the Fertile Crescent, through to Afghanistan, of “A Thousand Cities.” This is the perspective of development for peace.