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Gethsemane and Gaza

March 28—"The unspeakable is regularly said in Gaza. From teenage girls hoping they are killed; to being told a child is the last survivor from their entire family. Such horror is no longer unique here…. Amid it all, so many brave, generous and tireless Palestinians continue to support one another, and sister UN agencies and UNICEF continue.

“As we heard yesterday: the (United Nations Security Council) ceasefire must be substantive, not symbolic. The hostages must go home. The people of Gaza must be allowed to live…. In the three months between my visits, every horrific number rose dramatically. Gaza has shattered humanity’s records for its darkest chapters. Humanity must now urgently write a different chapter.” This was the partial testimony of James Elders, spokesman of UNICEF, at a March 26 press conference in Rafah, site of the next impending mass kill of women and children in Palestine (there are 600,000 children in Rafah.)

Is our humanity a mere abstraction? Do we have an immortal human identity above our various ethnic and cultural differences? Are we a single human species, or not? If we are not, then the United States’ representatives at the United Nations, at the State Department, in the Congress and Pentagon are correct—the March 25 UN Resolution 2728, calling for a ceasefire, immediate release of hostages, and allowing full humanitarian access to Gaza, “is not binding.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres wrote on X that “The Security Council just approved a long-awaited resolution on Gaza, demanding an immediate ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. This resolution must be implemented. Failure would be unforgivable.” But that was not the view expressed by the United States. The UN Security Council vote was 14-0, with one abstention—the United States.

In a press conference the following day, White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby was asked about this:

Q. "On the nonbinding thing, the UN Secretary General said after the vote, ‘This resolution must be implemented.’ You say it’s nonbinding. So, who is right here? And if it’s nonbinding, if, as you say, it does not change anything, why has the administration blocked so many pretty similar resolutions in the past?

Kirby: “Because they didn’t condemn Hamas. I’ve said that repeatedly….”

Q: “This one doesn’t condemn Hamas either….”

Kirby: “Because they condemn Hamas and because they also just called for a ceasefire with no linkage to the hostages. This one, the reason why we can’t support it but didn’t veto it is because it does link hostages and a ceasefire, which is in keeping with our policy.”

Q: “And on the binding thing, is it binding, nonbinding?”

Kirby: “It’s a nonbinding resolution.”

There was a time when America was better than this. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King believed that “All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” He transformed that idea into direct action on behalf of African Americans, but all people, non-violent action through which apparently powerless, disenfranchised, dispossessed, “despised and rejected” citizens, were bound together in a great cause—resurrecting their own humanity.

In this moment, it will take not only leadership, but “discipleship” to make the acknowledgment of the humanity of the Palestinians “binding” on the Malthusian rules-based disorder of the Anglosphere. Becoming a student of the Oasis Plan, the comprehensive plan for Southwest Asia devised by Lyndon LaRouche and refined by his associates over 50 years, means to learn how to implement it, immediately. You will never achieve a “political” or “military” solution of the “Mid-East problem” without simultaneously putting “shovels in the ground” to build this world-transforming project. As Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, said in her weekly strategic dialogue today:

“The UN Security Council vote is mandatory, but that is then the question if Israel will regard that as obligatory to follow. And if not, the question is what other measures must be taken? In any case, we can only suggest to change the entire outlook: That is why the Oasis Plan conference must be a really powerful intervention, and I think what you can do is to help us to build the conference. Get as many individuals, but also organizations, from the region, from Southwest Asia, but also from the United States and from Europe and other parts of the world to put in their weight. Because this is so enormous, naturally, the United States could have stopped it from the very beginning; now they are under pressure to do something. But, the big question is, will they? And I think the only thing one can do is to have—you know, if you had the whole world, like a powerful chorus, demanding that the suffering of the people in the region should stop, and therefore that the Oasis Plan should be implemented. Just imagine, the BRICS countries would all say that, if all the neighbors would say that, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Iraq, Syria, Türkiye, and then beyond that, all the countries of Europe, and everybody would demand that, it could happen! So that is the purpose of this conference, that we can build the momentum, and show people a vision for how, actually, through economic development, peace can be established.”

Yesterday called by Christians Holy Thursday by some, Maundy Thursday by others, could also be called the Day of Gethsemane. On that night, the “prophet without honor in his own country,” Jesus, in an agonizing moment of decision, became one with his mission to mankind. “O my Father, if this cup cannot pass from me, but that I must need drink thereof, Thy will be fulfilled.” The “imitation of Christ” means to accept the cup, in our time, as Martin Luther King did in his lonely opposition to the unjust war in Vietnam. Today, Gaza is the world’s Gethsemane. We supply below economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche’s “In the Garden for Gethsemane,” composed by him in prison in the tradition of St. Thomas More’s The Sadness of Christ.

Lyndon LaRouche: in the Garden of Gethsemane

January 17, 1990

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

“A prophet is not without honor,

save in his own country."

—Matthew 13:57

Those of us who find ourselves in Gethsemane—a Gethsemane where we are told that we must take a role of leadership with our eye on Christ on the Cross— often experience something which, unfortunately, most people do not. We tend to look at things from a different standpoint. Before trying to situate how I see the recent period, and the period immediately before us, I should try to communicate what my viewpoint is, a viewpoint which I know is shared in some degree of very close approximation by everyone who has gone to Gethsemane with the view of the Cross in his eyes, saying, “He did it, I am now being told that I must, too, walk in His way.”

What I suggest often, in trying to explain this to a person who has not experienced it, is to say: “Imagine a time 50 years after you’re dead. Imagine in that moment, 50 years ahead, that you can become conscious and look back at the entirety of your mortal life, from its beginning to its ending. And, rather than seeing that mortal life as a succession of experiences, you see it as a unity. Imagine facing the question respecting that mortal life, asking,”Was that life necessary in the total scheme of the universe and the existence of mankind, was it necessary that I be born in order to lead that life, the sum total of that number of years between birth and death? Did I do something, or did my living represent something, which was positively beneficial to present generations, and implicitly to future generations after me? If so, then I should have walked through that life with joy, knowing that every moment was precious to all mankind, because what I was doing by living was something that was needed by all mankind, something beneficial to all mankind."

If I am wise, then 50 years after my death, in looking back at my mortal life, I know that from the beginning with my birth, to the end with my death, that my truest self-interest was the preservation and enhancement of that which made my having lived important to those around me and those who came after me.

That is the beginning, I think, of true wisdom; that is the beginning of the Passion, which sometimes enables each of us when called to walk through our own peculiar kind of Gethsemane. It is from this standpoint, that the mind of an individual such as our own, can efficiently comprehend history in the large.

A second point, which I often raise, I think is essential to understand the few simple observations I have to make here. It is that, in human reason, in the power, for example, to effect a valid, fundamental scientific discovery, which overturns, in large degree, previous scientific opinion, we see a fundamental distinction between man and all beasts. This power of creative reason, typified by the power to make a valid, fundamental scientific discovery, and also the power to transmit and to receive such a discovery, is that which sets man apart from and above the beasts.

The emotion associated with that kind of human activity, whether in physical science, in the development of creative works or performance of creative works of classical culture or simply in the caring for a child to nurture that quality of potential for discovery in the child, is true love. Creative activity is human activity, and the emotion associated with that kind of activity, is true love.

We start from that and say that society must be based on these considerations, that every human being, being apart from and above the animals, has the right and the obligation to live an important life. Every human being has the right to do something, such that if one looked back 50 years after the death of that person at his or her whole mortal life, one could have said, that life was necessary to all humanity. At the same time, one could distinguish some use of this creative power of reasoning as the activity which made that life important, simply, sometimes, the development of that creative power.

We have, in the entirety of the approximately 2,500 years of Western European history, which includes the history of the Americas, two conflicting views of mankind. One view shares more or less the standpoint I’ve just identified: We view the human individual as bearing the divine spark of potential for reason, as a sacred life; a spark of reason which must be developed by society, nurtured by society, given opportunity for fruitful expression by society; a quality of activity whose good works must be adopted by society, protected by society, and preserved by society, for the benefit of present and future generations. That is the republic, the republic as conceived by Solon’s constitution of Athens—a notion of republic, which, in our time, is made nobler by the Christian understanding, which transforms and elevates the contributions of Solon and Socrates after him.

On the other side, there is the conception of Sparta, a privileged oligarchy, brutalizing the Helots, the slaves, the so-called lower classes. That, too is a model society, not a republic, but an oligarchy.

The struggle between these two views of mankind is epitomized by the struggle between President and General George Washington, on the one side, and King George III on the other. George Washington was a soldier and statesman of the republic, not a perfect one, but a good one. On the opposite side was poor King George III, the puppet of the evil Earl of Shelbourne, and the epitome of oligarchism, the heritage of Sparta. The tradition of King George III, which deems that some men must be kept slaves, is an oligarchical view, which hates the idea of the equality of the individual in respect to the individual human being’s possession of that divine spark, the individual human being’s right to the development of that spark, the nurture of its activity, and the defense and perpetuation of its good works.

Such is the conflict. In our time, the great American Republic, by virtue of the cultivation of ignorance and concern with smallness of mind, and neglect of the importance of what comes after us in the living of our mortal lives, has been so undermined, degraded, and corrupted, that we as a nation no longer are the nation we were conceived to be, but instead have become a nation brain-drained in front of our television sets, thinking with greater passion about mere spectator sports or mere television soap-opera than we do about urgent events in real life. We are a nation seeking gratification in drugs, in sordid forms of sexual activity, in other sordid entertainments, in that kind of pleasure-seeking, which echoes the words Sodom and Gomorrah.

And so, oligarchism, that which George III of England represented back in the eighteenth century, has taken over and rules the land which was once George Washington’s.

What this leads to is this. Today, there is a great revolution around the world against tyranny in all forms. So far, this revolution has manifested itself within the communist sector against communist tyrannies. But it is coming here, too. Wherever the divine spark of reason is being crushed by oligarchical regimes, with all their cruelties, the divine spark of reason within human beings inspires them to arise, to throw off the tyranny—not out of anger and rage against tyranny, but because the divine spark of reason in each person must be affirmed. We seek not merely to be free from oligarchy; we seek to be free from oligarchy, because not to do so would be to betray the divine spark of reason in ourselves and in others.

The secret of great revolutions, of great civil rights movements, as Dr. King’s example illustrates, is this capacity, which the Greek New Testament called agapē, which Latin called caritas, which the King James version of the Bible calls charity, which we otherwise known as love. Whenever this power of love, this recognition of that divine spark, setting us above the beasts, prevails, wherever people can approximate that view of the sum total of their lives, as if from 50 years after their deaths, whenever movements arise which, out of love, produce people who are willing, not fruitlessly, but for a purpose, to lay down their lives, so that their lives might have greater meaning, for this purpose—there you have the great revolutions of history.

If we were to project events on the basis of what is taught in the schools about revolutions and other struggles of the past, then the human race at present were doomed. If we say that people struggle against this and that oppression, and so forth, and out of rage or whatnot, overthrow their cruel oppressor, we should lose; the human race would lose. However, if we touch the force of love, the spark of divine reason, we unleash a force, a creative force, a divine force, which is greater than any adversary, and we win. Those revolutions, which are based upon the appeal to this divine spark of reason within the individual, prevailed. Those which worked otherwise produced abominations, or simply failed.

Yes, we must struggle against injustice. But it is not enough to struggle out of anger. We must struggle out of love. And that we learn best, who have had to walk as leaders of one degree or another, through our own Gethsemane, with the image of the Cross before us.

That is the best I can say. I might say it better, but what I try to say with these poor words, is the best I can say summarily, on the subject of current history. I believe, that the great upsurge of humanity, implicit in the optimism I express, is now in progress. I am persuaded that we shall win, provided that each of us can find in ourselves, that which makes us the right arm of the Creator, a man, a woman of providence, within the limits of our own capacities and opportunities.

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

Dictated from prison,

Rochester, Minnesota

January 17, 1990

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