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International Peace Coalition Meeting Discusses Why We Must Become the Good Samaritan!

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, opened this week’s 50th consecutive meeting of the International Peace Coalition by discussing the implications of the attempted assassination of Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico yesterday. She referenced the assessment of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, that the crime must be seen in the context of the Western preparation for a war with Russia. Zepp-LaRouche reviewed the press attacks on Fico by various international functionaries of the Anglosphere, who had charged him with “polarization” because Fico questioned the utility of the sanctions against Russia; suggested that the Ukraine war began because of Nazi elements terrorizing the Donbass; and pointed out that NATO broke its 1990 promise to the Russian Federation not to move Eastward.

She reported that Fico’s would-be assassin belonged to an organization called “Progressive Slovakia,” which needs to be investigated further. Was he really a “lone assassin”? There is now a rapid degeneration of democracy in many European states, where free speech is increasingly denounced. U.S. Secretary of State Blinken has just said, in response to Russian statements, that Ukraine can do “whatever they decide” with U.S. weapons, but “all the weapons in the world cannot compensate for the fact that they are running out of soldiers,” insisted Zepp-LaRouche.

She went on to underscore the significance of the Putin/Xi strategic partnership, which is causing conniptions among neoliberals and neocons. It is also extremely important that South Africa went back to the International Court of Justice to demand that Israel implement ICJ’s rulings.

Next, Fr. Harry Bury, Coordinator of the Nonviolent Cities Project of St. Paul, Minnesota, and a leading member of Pax Christi and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, reported that Catholic bishops and nuns in Washington, Oregon and Montana have put forward a peace plan for Gaza, which calls for a ceasefire, the mutual return of hostages, and a two-state solution. Significantly, the plan also calls for the re-development of Israel and Gaza. The latter converges on the Oasis Plan originally proposed in 1975 by economist Lyndon LaRouche. Father Bury emphasized that the Oasis Plan means not only development for Southwest Asia, but for the entire world. Reflecting on the economic experience of post-World War II history, he observed that the 1948-1952 Marshall Plan in Europe, and the 1945-1952 occupation and reconstruction of Japan, had worked: there is no mass emigration today from Germany and Japan. He concluded by saying, “Peace is a good investment.”

While he was not able to attend, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, an American economist and public policy analyst, provided a video, conducted by IPC member Mike Billington, which was shown. “The political solution is that there should be a State of Palestine, and it should live alongside the State of Israel,” he said. But the U.S. veto in the UN Security Council is the obstacle to this. The nations of the region are ready for peace with Israel, but they don’t want Palestine to live under an apartheid regime, or worse, a genocidal one. The American people and the world want Palestine to have rights. The U.S. government is hurting both itself, and Israel, which is seen as “a war crime state protected by the United States.” “There is a water crisis and desalination is the way forward,” Sachs said, in reference to the proposed Oasis Plan.

Sachs warned that “Israel is absolutely radicalized, extremist, compared to 25 years ago.” He said that we need a return to the 1967 borders, and an economic framework that will go along with that. He explained the importance of Pope Francis’ October 2020 encyclical Fratelli Tutti! (“On Fraternity and Social Friendship”). Pope Francis insists that the only way the world can be saved is for everyone to be like the Good Samaritan, opening the encyclical, that St. Francis “declares blessed all those who love their brother ‘as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him.’”

In conclusion, Sachs marveled at the fact that Biden has not tried to speak to Putin even once since 2021: “That’s the telltale sign of the recklessness and stupidity of U.S. policy.” The U.S. does not have the idea of diplomacy: “We have a Secretary of State, but we don’t have a diplomat.”

Dr. Mubarak Awad, founder of Nonviolence International, provided an update on Gaza and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He described himself as a Christian Palestinian, deported in 1988 by Israel, and fully committed to the policy and practice of nonviolent direct action. He offered seven steps to end the present cycle of violence: First, to the Palestinians, he uncompromisingly says, stop killing the Israelis. Welcome them as neighbors. Choose your leaders by elections. To the Israelis, stop killing Palestinians. End the siege of Gaza. Reverse the land grabs. End apartheid. Don’t do the dirty work of America.

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