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The Lead

Do Children in Gaza See the U.S. as a Temple of Liberty and a Beacon of Hope?

by David Shavin (EIRNS) — May. 02, 2024

As today comes to a close, U.S. President Joe Biden and the House Republicans, led by House Speaker Mike Johnson, are locked in an ugly embrace, offering nothing of substance to the American electorate but the sick joke of crushing democracy in the name of stopping allegedly violent, anti-Semitic protesters. Yet that is what accompanies last week’s decision, with a $34 trillion national debt heading for trouble rapidly, with a militarization of the economy and of political discourse, of throwing another $95 billion installment of military hardware into the pot.

Last week, Johnson kicked off the bizarre charade, traveling up to New York City’s Columbia University, in order to appear in front of students, provoke them, and create social media and photo ops for the debasement of the population. Today, Biden addressed Americans, pontificating about protecting peaceful demonstrations, but having to halt the violent ones—even though the only violence has come from the opponents of the demonstrators. As he spoke, the encampment at UCLA, which had just been physically assaulted by thugs, was now being shut down by the police—the same police who a day earlier had failed to stop the thuggery while it happened and failed to even try to arrest any of the attackers.

Yet, the actions of protesters, most visibly those on dozens and dozens of U.S. campuses, threaten to trigger American citizens to finally ask, why are we pushing wars? Why are prospects for my children shrinking? What happens if the dollar collapses? Why is China not pushing war, but rather getting ahead of us in pushing physical economy projects?

Whether any particular protester had gone far down that road in their own thoughts so far, simply standing up and saying “no” to mass murder re-introduces into the country’s public discourse the long-ridiculed and neglected notion of morality. Something was lost when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, and the anti-war movement went to pot. Standing up, and then standing, threatens an outbreak of public sanity.

Yesterday, Palestinian doctors, nurses, medical staff, and children, after all they’ve endured, paused to send a message to the protesting U.S. students, thanking them for simply recognizing that they are humans and that they have been suffering. CNN quoted Dr. Saad Abu Sharban as saying that he was “over the moon” at images of protesters in other countries. He said it meant “that around the world there are human beings who know what is happening here in Gaza Strip right now.” Children addressed the camera, personally thanking the students at Columbia and other U.S. schools. One of the mothers, Nadia Al-Dibs, told CNN: “Arab populations haven’t cared about us, while students at American universities have felt with us, have felt the blood that spills from us, our buildings that get struck and our kids whose lives get destroyed … a thousand thanks to them.”

For an oppressed population to get a glimmer of Americans actually acting on a moral impulse both suggests how achingly long it has been that the U.S. has wandered in the desert and how the faint light of the U.S. as “the temple of liberty and beacon of hope” for the world may yet come to life.

The most direct way to fan those feeble flames is to ground such hopes in what has always been the basis for Jews and Muslims, survivors of Nazism and of the Nakba, to conquer the desert, the LaRouche “Oasis Plan”—plenty of fresh water for irrigation projects to green the desert, plenty of education and jobs for Israelis and Palestinians—plus the region’s whole Arab population—to provide for their families without lusting for their neighbor’s land. So much potential that even some Western banks might be saved from their advanced disease of speculation.

But demonstrators need the “Oasis Plan” to outflank agents provocateurs, those who will seek to turn frustration into violence. Americans need it to avoid descending into rival gangs, arguing over who can best pretend to defend Jews from all the non-attacks. Politicians desperately need it, as they are pushed more and more to defend a police state, because the financial cancer keeps demanding such.

And if Palestinian children, having a day when they see Americans defending a moral principle, contribute to helping Americans to regain their identity, such would be the workings of forces more in touch with reality than anything the Joe Biden-Mike Johnson show will be broadcasting.


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