Exposing complicity in genocide despite detention

Presentation given at the Socialist Unity Party national plenum on Dec. 16, 2023.

After the U.S. killed the U.N. Security Council resolution for a ceasefire on Dec. 8 — and today delayed another vote of the Security Council demanding an immediate ceasefire — Washington continues to pour gas on the fires in Gaza.

Bypassing Congress, the State Department sent 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel on the same day. The war crimes, with more than 20,000 Palestinians killed — 40% children, including so many babies — precede that transfer to Israel, assisting even more in the genocide.

“It’s just awful,” said one of the U.S. embassy representatives in Cairo, Egypt, about the killing going on in Gaza. With a bowed head with apparent frustration at their supposed inability to stop the killing in Gaza, the embassy representatives told our U.S. delegation of World Conscience Convoy participants nothing of value.

With the help of an Egyptian lawyer, we were able to have a meeting with the U.S. embassy. When we pressed to get answers about why the U.S. sent the massive amount of weapons that Israel received before and after Oct. 7, they said the U.S. uses weapons to get leverage to persuade Israel not to take things too far.

A five-year-old could come up with a better answer. And, even at an early stage of development, the child would most likely have a better sense of humanity regarding the massacre of children.

We went to the meeting to ask the U.S. to use its influence with the Egyptian government, which refuses to allow the World Conscience Convoy (organized by the Egyptian Journalist‘s Syndicate) to deliver humanitarian aid and journalists to Gaza and to help stop the genocide. 

We told them, but they already knew, that there were just two days during the ceasefire “pause” to get humanitarian aid, journalists, and medical care into Gaza. Despite the ongoing genocide, as a Jewish delegation member explained and a mother and preschool teacher and others laid out, we were told the U.S. has no influence with the Egyptian government, and we were again told the U.S. uses the weapons for “leverage.”

After the U.S. veto of the U.N. Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire, one Saudi official said, “Leverage has failed.” 

International delegates in the World Conscience Convoy decided that our only chance to get the convoy through (or failing that, to at least make visible the complicity in war crimes by both Egypt and imperialist countries led by the U.S.) was to petition the Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again to allow a permit for passage to Gaza. We preceded the presentation of the permit request with the unfurling of a banner in front of the building reading: “From the river to the sea – Palestine will be free.”

The over 30-hour detention in Egypt that this writer and three other delegates – from France, Australia, and Argentina received made it clear that the government would not tolerate being embarrassed about their complicity. We were immediately detained.

Although our embassies never visited us after being made aware that we were being detained, Egyptian lawyers came to our rescue, and folks from back home in our respective countries were able to put pressure on them and the Egyptian government.

After 30 hours of no sleep, no bed, and continuous glaring lights, we were finally deported.

Before our detention, we got a good understanding of the political climate in a meeting with journalists at the Egyptian Journalist‘s Syndicate building. In Egypt, the people and even the media and corporate media were united in their rage against the Gaza genocide. Even the Egyptian National Security police let us know they agreed with what we were doing but had to listen to the “higher-ups.” This is why President Abdel Fattah el-Sisii has to hide his complicity in the economic cooperation with the Zionist regime. 

One common interest of the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt in Gaza and the West Bank was the discovery of over 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil, which the Zionist regime claimed it owned in 2008, to the detriment of Palestinians.

In September, the U.S. held a meeting in India pushing the Indian Middle-East Corridor (IMEC) with cooperation between Saudi Arabia, India, and the U.S., with invites to Jordan. This was designed to counter China’s mutually beneficial Belt and Road Initiative and alternatives to the IMF and World Bank. 

The destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline by the U.S. and the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine helped the IMEC initiative. An alternative hydrogen pipeline — to replace the natural gas that Russia had provided to Europe — from India to Saudi Arabia to Jordan to Haifa in occupied Palestine, close to the West Bank and Gaza, is proposed as part of IMEC.

According to a statement by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is one of the Palestinian organizations in Gaza that were part of the action with Hamas on Oct. 7, the IMEC agreements were targeted.

“The Al-Aqsa Flood operation was launched only after all diplomatic means had been exhausted. It was a specific confrontation due to the racist policy implemented by the Israeli occupation government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. It was a move to prevent the Arab regimes from signing peace agreements with Israel and derail American attempts to build economic blocs in the region to besiege China, Iran, and Russia – the most recent of which is the India-Middle East-Europe ‘corridor.’”

The pipeline would then go to Greece to supply Europe.

It is also interesting that before Oct. 7, the U.N. reported record-breaking violent settler attacks against Palestinians in Gaza and that Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu presented a new map of Israel that eliminated Palestine.

A corporate and capitalist government think-tank, APCO, sums up the plan goals and initiatives in its advisory work around IMEC:

Sept. 22 — The recent G20 summit in New Delhi witnessed the launch of a $20 billion India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC), an ambitious multi-pronged network aiming to connect goods and services between Europe and Asia — via the Middle East — more sustainably and efficiently. G20 countries involved in this initiative will hold a follow-up meeting to develop an action plan with defined timetables for implementation.

Alongside the practical economic and infrastructure benefits for the involved regions, IMEC aims to strengthen United States and EU leadership based on multilateral cooperation and prosperity across Eurasia and boost global supply chain solutions. Within this context, the G20-backed corridor seeks to constitute a geopolitical counterweight to China and its intercontinental Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) while checking Russia’s interconnectivity aspirations.

Summary and opportunities

IMEC’s transport competent envisions a combined maritime-overland network that circumvents the existing maritime route via the Suez Canal: beginning with sea lanes connecting western India to the UAE, a rail network linking the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel, and culminating in a maritime route from Haifa to several European ports. The transport section is to be culminated by fiber-optic cables and a hydrogen pipeline spanning the 5,000-km route. In addition, the G20 envisions three complementary commercial-industrial corridors to IMEC in the fields of renewable energy, food security and the digital economy. …

Countering Russia and the Ukraine war impact

IMEC also serves to check Russian influence and overcome large-scale supply chain and logistics disruptions brought on by the invasion of Ukraine. As Europe eyes energy replacements for Russian gas and Middle Eastern countries seek to diversify food sources away from the Ukrainian-Russian conflict zone, IMEC has the potential to provide long-lasting remedies to these challenges. The G20-backed corridor also targets Russia’s proposed International North-South Transport Corridor to connect European markets to India via Iran, weakening the latter project’s viability and helping to encourage the maintenance of US-led international sanctions regimes against Moscow and Tehran.

The deal, however, was stalled after Oct 7.

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