Gaza and Ukraine: Two ways ahead for Europe

by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos, Delphi Initiative/DefendDemocracy.Press, Vaggelio Sotiropoulou, member of the “anti-NATO Action” *

We salute the very important gathering you are holding today, we salute the working class, the youth and the people of Germany who are opposing NATO policy, a policy that is destroying Ukraine, increasing the risks of nuclear and/or climate catastrophe and undermining European independence, the economy, the welfare state and even democracy itself in the West. For it is certainly not democracy that we have, if the opinion of a significant part of the population is not taken into account, nor is it democracy if almost all of the mass media are turned into instruments of propaganda for a single opinion.

Those of us who criticised NATO’s approach from the outset now feel vindicated. But there is no satisfaction in that. Ukraine has suffered an unprecedented catastrophe, its chances of winning the conflict are non-existent, the sanctions our governments have imposed on Russia have damaged the European economy, and Europe’s reputation in the rest of the world is at an all-time low. We have run and continue to run the gravest risks of nuclear and climate holocaust. Our governments, the governments of the collective West, know all this, but, for the sake of prestige alone, they do not want to admit it. They are continuing on a course which, while doing nothing to help the Ukrainian people, is causing great damage to Europe and exposing humanity to the risk of world war and other disasters.

As if that were not enough, the collective West has also chosen in the Middle East the path of supporting the State of Israel in an ethnic cleansing, which has already begun to develop into genocide of the Palestinian people, ignoring both the dangers of a regional nuclear conflagration, so prophetically pointed out in the past by your great poet Günther Grass (**), and the real long-term historical interest not only of the Palestinian people but also of the Jewish people itself. To their credit, the world’s leading genocide and holocaust experts of Jewish descent have written the most informed political and legal critiques of Israel’s policies, speaking of the “danger of genocide” and of “war crimes”.

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And let us not forget the War Party in the United States, which argues that only war can ultimately solve the problem of China’s economic rise.

Europe still has, but will not always have, two roads ahead of it, as it has done at other times in its history, as it did on the eve of both the First and Second World Wars. One is to continue to follow the party of War which now dominates both American parties, NATO, the European Commission and Israel. Such a course is reminiscent of the course that led our continent into the two world wars. It will destroy what is left of our democracy and will favour the rise of irrationalism and open fascism, as the tragic example of Argentina showed us a few days ago. Moreover, a victory for the West is impossible, as Ukraine has shown.

We are at the most dangerous point in human history, because we have developed productive forces and technologies that can destroy life itself on the planet. Persistence on the path of war will most likely lead to one result: the destruction of civilisation and subsequently of humanity itself.

But as one of your own great poets, once again, Hölderlin, said: Wo aber die Gefahr, wächst das Rettende auch, where danger increases, that what saves also increases. And that is the other, second way that Europe can still take. It is the way of De Gaulle, who envisioned a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals and said No to the Vietnam War. It is the way of Willy Brandt and his Ostpolitik. It is the way of Olaf Palme, who made Sweden a beacon of humanity to all mankind. It is the way of Andreas Papandreou and the Six Nation Peace Initiative. It is the way of Dominique de Villepin, who expressed all civilised humanity by speaking at the UN Security Council against the US and British invasion of Iraq.

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By opposing the war hysteria of US and NATO, we are not only preventing the worst. We are also laying the foundations for a democratic, social, ecological and independent Europe, an equal member of a multipolar world, which will play a leading role in the struggle for a new and very different world peace order, which will contribute with the inexhaustible reserves of European culture and the many resources available on the European continent to the struggle for the survival of Mankind, finally abandoning the barbarity of its prehistory.

Which of the two paths described above Europe will follow, may be of crucial importance for the future of humanity. That is why we believe that what you are doing today, and we believe it is only the beginning, is not only a struggle to stop the war in Ukraine; it is a struggle for the whole of Europe and for the very future of humanity as a whole.

The Greek people, having suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the forces of international finance, which have made their country a guinea pig in the construction of global totalitarianism, are now going through one of the worst and most depressing phases in their history. Yet the majority of the Greek people do not support either NATO’s policy in Ukraine or the massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Unfortunately, however, most of our political parties often express not what the people think and what they want, but what the powers that be want in a West that is losing almost all its democratic characteristics. This is precisely what makes your struggle and our struggle not only a struggle against war, but also a struggle for democracy and for European independence.

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Your struggle is also our struggle. Long live peace, long live democracy.

(*) This is the message of the writers to the Berlin demonstration of 25.11 “against the war in Gaza, the war in Ukraine and the social war, for an immediate ceasefire”, https://www.defenddemocracy.press/antiwar-demonstrations-in-germany/, http://www.defenddemocracy.press/no-to-the-war-in-gaza-no-to-the-war-in-ukraine-no-the-social-war/.

(**) Günther Grass is one of the greatest post-War German writers and a Nobel laureate. Before he dies he wrote two poems which can be considered a kind of testament. In one of them he castigates Europe for torturing and destroying Greece, the country which gave birth to European civilization, with the other he calls his country not to provide Israel with submarines able to carry nuclear missiles (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/apr/05/gunter-grass-what-must-be-said.

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