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The Lead

UN Human Rights Council Votes for All Nations to End Arms To Israel

by Marcia Merry Baker (EIRNS) — Apr. 06, 2024

April 6, 2024 (EIRNS)—The United Nations Human Rights Council, at its April 5 session in Geneva, voted up a resolution calling for all nations to end arms shipments to Israel, and related measures. The vote in the 47-member nation council was 28-6, with 13 abstentions. Voting against the resolution were the United States and Germany. The resolution calls for not only investigating Israel for commission of war crimes, but for investigating potential war crimes by all those nations now abetting Israel.

This is the latest, formal expression by the world community of condemnation of the devastation in Gaza, and demand for Israel to stop it. The same day, the UN Security Council held an emergency session on the conduct of Israel in the Palestinian occupied territories, at which special reports were given. Janti Soeripto, President and Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children USA, noted that 203 humanitarian aid workers have been killed in Gaza—the highest number of humanitarian casualties in modern times—and that more children have been killed in this conflict than in all armed conflicts globally over the past four years.

“Give humanitarians safe access and a ceasefire, and we can save lives,” she urged. “Member states must stop fueling the crisis with the weapons they’re selling to the parties of conflict,” she said, stressing: “The world—those sitting in this room—have the tools to address this crisis.”

There is even motion inside the United States, to oppose the actions of Israel. The evening of April 5, a letter was sent to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, by 37 House Democrats, calling for a stop to the U.S. provision of weapons to Israel. Long-time Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) was among them. The text opens: “We write to express our shared concern and outrage regarding the recent Israeli airstrike which killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including an American citizen. In light of this incident, we strongly urge you to reconsider your recent decision to authorize the transfer of a new arms package to Israel, and to withhold this and any future offensive arms transfers until a full investigation into the airstrike is completed.”

The action by House members was preceded by five Democratic Senators on April 3, calling on President Biden to surge humanitarian aid to Gaza, including dispatching the U.S. Naval hospital ships, USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, to provide 2,000 hospital beds. They listed other actions they expect the Administration to take, including getting supplies to all hospitals still functional in Gaza.

The point is rightly made by many observers around the world, that none of these actions occurred in recent months, until the IDF killed foreign aid workers in a charity headed by a celebrity chef, as was said, for example, by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. Their spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli, told AP, “The thought that this is a unique case, that it’s a rare example—it’s an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has been following the situation.” But nevertheless the motion is real and is now increasing.

Our task is to escalate the motion into momentum, and the momentum into a decisive break with the dynamic of lies, warfare, starvation and destruction going on in Gaza, in Ukraine and needlessly in other places from Haiti to Myanmar. This is the active legacy of empire and geopolitics, which now is at the stage of potential break-out to nuclear exchange and annihilation.

The increasing danger is exemplified by the rogue action of Israel to deliberately bomb the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1. Today the funeral ceremonies were held for Iranian Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, at his birthplace in Isfahan. Thousands attended. His deputy and five other IRGC officers were killed in the Israeli airstrike in Syria. Israel has announced that as of April 4, they have evacuated and locked down 28 of their embassies around the world, against the contingency of retaliation, and, in effect, their own intention is to match and escalate warfare with warfare.

What can be done? What can we do to change all this? These questions were taken up today in an international “Youth Dialogue” sponsored by the Schiller Institute, in an online, and in-person meeting of young people for an exciting two-hour exchange with Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche. She began by addressing what “the mission of an international youth movement should be.” She warned upfront that, “We are in a situation where, if we don’t change the dynamic, if we just stay in the escalation we are in, I’m absolutely certain that the logic of escalation will go all the way to World War III.”

Zepp-LaRouche, in answer to the question, “where can change come from?” pointed to the new reality of the Global South, which is now the Global Majority. This force should be emboldened to act powerfully for the good, in every way. In particular, Zepp LaRouche introduced the prospect of the use in the UN General Assembly of the “Uniting for Peace resolution” mechanism, given the U.S.-U.K. subversion of the UN Security Council. The point is not that the United Nations itself is flawless—anything but. However, it can be made to function by nations which themselves are acting in the interests of humanity.

That sends a message to each of us, to do everything we can. Zepp-LaRouche said, at the conclusion of the many exchanges with young people from Nicaragua to Afghanistan, that we should “Have courage. Do what your conscience knows to be right.” Do this at any age!



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