How To Stop the Butchery in Gaza, One Semi-Miracle at a TimeBy David Shavin
Nov. 30—One can certainly be filled with fear and trembling that President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will flinch, but today a message was delivered privately and publicly from Washington to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he certainly did not want to hear.
First, Biden had tweeted on X social media on Nov. 28: “Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek. We can’t do that.”
Netanyahu pretended that he didn’t hear that change in Biden’s previous “kill as many as you want” messages, and welcomed Blinken to the Israeli War Cabinet meeting this morning, praising him for the deep U.S. support for Israel’s action to eliminate Hamas. Blinken reportedly told Netanyahu: “You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north. There are 2 million Palestinians there…. You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas. And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population.” At an evening press conference in Tel Aviv, Blinken stated: “It’s imperative that Israel act in accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war, even when confronting a terrorist group that respects neither.”
Today the Washington Post made public a previously unknown conversation, in which Pope Francis, “in late October,” had told Israeli President Isaac Herzog, according to a senior Israeli official, that it is “forbidden to respond to terror with terror.” Herzog protested that they were just defending themselves, but the Pope made clear that killing civilians is not defense. The Pope went public in his Nov. 22 general audience in St. Peter’s Square, declaring that the conflict had “gone beyond war. This is terrorism.”
Well and good. The outrage of populations around the world has been heard, but that is nothing more than a proof of principle, a hint of a miracle. What does it take to hold Biden’s feet to the fire? The ugly reality is that Western leaders habitually cave in to campaign money, to buy their office from an electorate whom they cannot address as adults, that they have spent a lifetime manipulating as children. Netanyahu clings to power at the behest of outright KKK-style, racist members of his coalition, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. They threaten to bring down his government if he fails to eliminate all opponents from the lands of “Greater Israel.” Hamas exists, in short, because the two-state agreement that Yasser Arafat made with Yitzhak Rabin was undermined—actually assassinated—impelling many Palestinians to believe the West would always sell them out.
A U.S. President who had a policy to help Israelis, Palestinians and other Arabs mutually benefit from massive energy, water, and irrigation projects, designed to turn the desert into a garden, would have no problem laying down the law to Israel and to the Palestinians. Lyndon LaRouche’s “Oasis Plan” was designed for such a reality. He didn’t invent salty water and sand. That’s what is there. Who would try to run a country without figuring out what could be usefully done, given the physical parameters? Physical economy is the key to successful governing.
There is no possible healing of wounds short of allowing the populations of the area to engage in projects that make the world permanently better. There’s no justice for the slaughter of civilians, nor emotional closure for the loss, short of making the future that much brighter. There’s no holding leaders’ feet to the fire short of taking on the hard work and sustained joy of thinking as a leader. Mastering the “Oasis Plan” is not a nice idea. It is the key to extending the semi-miracle of today and conquering the undeniable fear and trembling it occasions. And it will happily qualify all those you know to organize.