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Martin Luther King's International Peace Coalition

Photo by Unseen Histories / Unsplash

April 4, 2024 (EIRNS)—The White House claimed today that President Biden had made clear to Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel had to: stop harming so many civilians, provide humanitarian aid, and agree to a ceasefire-for-hostage deal; otherwise, the U.S. would alter its policy towards Israel. Netanyahu’s office announced hours later that they would: allow more aid from Jordan through the Kerem Shalom crossing into southern Gaza, temporarily open up the Ashdod Port for aid, and at some point, open up the Erez Crossing in northern Gaza. Biden also underlined strong support for Israel against Iranian threats.

Earlier in the day, CNN announced that the Biden administration had authorized on April 1 the “transfer of over 1,000 500-pound bombs and over 1,000 small-diameter bombs to Israel.” This followed last week’s authorization of nearly two thousands 2,000-pound bombs, known as the MK84, bombs previously linked to mass casualty events in Gaza refugee camps. Netanyahu’s announcement today may secure the delivery of that weaponry, along with next week’s authorization. Under the best of scenarios from today’s meeting—given Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus and Iran’s vow to strike back—there could be some abatement of the starvation and deaths in Gaza, while Israel, with full U.S. support and weaponry, turns to a regional war against Iran.

The ugly reality behind the IDF airstrike against the seven aid workers on Monday night, April 1, is that there a racist, “blood and soil,” “Armageddon"-ist force built up in Israel, hijacking both Judaism, the nation of Israel and its military. They have a significant presence in Israel’s military and they believe they are doing God’s work in eliminating Palestinians, whom they view as vermin. As one Israeli sniper explained it to The Guardian: “In my experience, most soldiers who pull a trigger only want to kill those who should be killed but there are those who regard all the Arabs as the enemy and find any reason to shoot or no reason at all. Even if they are outside the regulations, the system will protect them. The army will cover up.” The racist hatred has infected not just the military, but every element of society, including the government and the religious schools.

In a seeming miracle, over 600 British jurists called out their government last night, announcing that genocide in Gaza is a real issue, and that Britain is guilty of the Genocide Convention for sending weapons to Israel. Lord Peter Ricketts, national security advisor to the former Prime Minister David Cameron, commented on the latest Israeli travesty, the airstrike that killed seven food aid volunteers in Gaza, including three British subjects: “Sometimes in conflict you get a moment where there is such global outrage that it crystallizes a sense that things can’t go on like this. I hope that this awful incident will serve that purpose.”

Yesterday, the founder of the World Central Kitchen aid organization, José Andrés, addressed Israelis in an op-ed in Yediot Ahronot, on its online owner Ynet, and in an interview on KMG’s Channel 12. Seven of his WCK volunteers had just been murdered. His message: “Israel is better than the way this war is being waged. It is better than blocking food and medicine to civilians. It is better than killing aid workers who coordinate their movements with the IDF…. The Israeli government needs to open land routes to food and medicine today. It needs to stop killing civilians and aid workers today. It needs to start the long journey to peace today. In the worst conditions, after the worst terrorist attack in its history, it’s time for the best of Israel to show up. You cannot save the hostages by bombing every building in Gaza. You cannot win this war by starving an entire population.” With a modest echo of Abraham Lincoln, Andrés told Channel 12 in an interview: “I do believe Israel and the Israeli people are better than that. Let’s bring out our best angels today. Let’s make sure we stop the continuous killing of everything that moves in Gaza.”

Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated 56 years ago on this day. Exactly one year earlier, on April 4, 1967, he gave a remarkably prescient speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence,” at New York’s Riverside Church. His words from beyond the grave are haunting, as he spoke at a crossroads, a “punctum saliens” in U.S. history, when citizens of a republic were horrified with nightly images of bloody victims, bringing “democracy” to Vietnam, when a republic was teetering on the edge of being plunged into an imperial obscenity:

“A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

“This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love, I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. … I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.… Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.

“We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. …”

Such was Dr. King’s concept of an international peace coalition and the necessity of bold, moral action, which is alive today!