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The Lead

Israel-Palestine Peace Isn't a Game - Learn How Dialogue Works

by David Shavin (EIRNS) — May. 10, 2024

Yesterday, CIA Director William Burns went to Israel for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some of his administration. Burns had spent several days in Cairo trying his darndest to fashion between Hamas and Israel a deal to release hostages and provide a truce. He needed to get Hamas to drop their insistence on a “permanent ceasefire” and, instead, accept the U.S. assurances, or perhaps just insinuendos, that a “sustainable calm” could be wangled, down the road, into the “permanent ceasefire.” With that in hand, he went to Israel yesterday to convince them that Hamas may be under the impression that a “sustainable calm” would transition to a “permanent peace,” but, not to worry, the U.S. and Israel both know that promises are meant to be broken, and a new war may be announced at the drop of a hat.

Burns’ sales pitch, as reported by Israel’s Channel 12 news, is instructive. He explained that even were the agreement for an end of the war, today’s peace is just tomorrow’s new war. His language was that Israel should not regard the “end of war” as a “full stop,” but rather as a “comma.” And following the comma, the scenario for an Israel/Saudi alliance could take over the region. Implied here is that the initiation of new hostilities would be directed against Iran and the Islamic Shi’a world—a classic British imperial game. If Channel 12’s report is correct, Burns was not only selling Hamas a phony prospect of a peace, based upon an approach of “trust us, you really have no other choice,” but also selling Israel a future of permanent hostilities. Assumedly, all Netanyahu’s gang had to do was slow down the killing long enough to get Biden through the November election. Who knew that, treating Israel as a proxy for decades in a region denied adequate physical-economic development projects, would turn one’s auxiliary forces into irrational psychopaths?

The hustling method of artificially, and temporarily, trying to paste together such competing interests, went down the toilet today, as both sides left the Cairo negotiations dead in the water. Is there a better method for dealing with such seemingly intractable and opposing interests?

In the midst of mounting threats from the West of a direct confrontation with Russia, newly-inaugurated President Vladimir Putin made clear that, if they need to wipe out Western military systems they will do so, but he refuses to conclude that today’s vaunted enemy has no soul and no legitimate interests of their own. Russia’s authoritative TASS today, on the day of Russia’s celebration of victory over the Nazis in Europe, published the specific analysis of Putin’s May 7 inaugural address in an interview with Helga-Zepp LaRouche, the head of the Schiller Institute, featuring the principle of the Peace of Westphalia. It read in part:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration speech evoked the key principle of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which called for countries to respect each other’s interest, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, said in an interview. ‘It is of existential importance that President Putin reiterated, in his inauguration speech, his openness to have a dialogue with the West on an equal footing, and with respect for each other’s interest,’ she said…. Putin’s speech ‘evokes the spirit of the Peace of Westphalia, which occurred when the war parties of the Thirty Years’ War realized that if the war continued, there would be nobody alive to enjoy the victory,’ the analyst said. ‘The key principle of the Peace of Westphalia was the recognition that in order to have peace, you have to respect the interest of the other,’ she continued….

“In his speech, the head of state signaled that Moscow is ready for a dialogue on security and strategic stability, if its partners agree to hold talks ‘not from a position of strength, without any arrogance, swagger or a feeling of pre-eminence, but on an equal footing and respecting each other’s interests.’”

The method does not depend upon pretending that there are no objective problems with one’s adversary. However, the capability to recognize the most ugly, selfish, pathetic and degrading behavior, and yet to know that one is dealing with one of God’s creatures, or a culture that has had enough beautiful moments to survive, is a vital quality for leadership.

TASS did not merely “drop a name” in covering the Zepp-LaRouche analysis. In raising a deeper issue, the Westphalia principle, it signals a recognition as to the importance of worthy dialogue partners in the West—something of no little consequence as countries measure and deliberate over their possible pathways forward.

Add your voice to the dialogue. An excellent start is the plan Burns missed, the one respecting the interest of both Israel and Palestine, the Oasis Plan.


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Collapsing Imperial System

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