On 22 September 2023 Benjamin Netanyahu proposed at the United Nations Assembly an economic corridor (IMEC) connecting India, the Middle East and Europe. Such a trade route would compete with the new Silk Road (BRI) promoted by China. Although Israel presented the project, its real architect is the US, which is looking for a way to curb China’s commercial expansion, its main rival.
Ethnic cleansing and forced migration to Jordan, Sinai and Southern Europe have become a priority for the US and Israel.
After the disruption of Russian gas supplies to Europe through the Ukrainian war and the blowing up of Nord Stream 2, the US continues its battle to retain its hegemony. The Abraham Agreement, which normalised relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, was an essential piece of the IMEC deal, but it also required Saudi Arabia’s support, which the Netanyahu government was on the verge of securing. If Israeli diplomacy succeeded, a rail route would link Dubai to Haifa and one could travel from the Indian port of Mumbai to the Greek port of Piraeus in just ten days. It would be a geopolitical revolution, with Israel’s new role as an exporter of gas to southern Europe from the Leviathan platform.
The stumbling blocks to this project were Syria, Russia’s traditional ally, Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shia militia, and the Palestinian people. War-torn Syria and Lebanon have little room for manoeuvre, but the Palestinian cause enjoys broad popular support in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Despite their agreements with the US, the governments of these countries cannot ignore protests about the apartheid regime suffered by Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
Israel is only the pawn of the US in the Middle East. All the wars in the region in recent decades have only been neo-colonial operations aimed at securing control of gas, oil and trade routes.
In the face of instability in the region, Turkey is proposing an alternative to IMEC, a trade corridor that would cross Iraq and lead to Istanbul, from where goods would be shipped to Europe. This plan would damage the interests of Saudi Arabia, Greece, Israel and the US. Abdulkadir Uraloglu, Turkey’s transport minister, has emphasised that his alternative “is faster and cheaper” and is not affected by security concerns, “as the war between Israel and Gaza is proving”.
The only way to implement Netanyahu’s proposed trade corridor, supported by the US, is to implement a final solution to the Palestinian problem. With Gaza reduced to rubble and the West Bank economically and socially strangled, Palestinians will have no choice but a new Nakba. Ethnic cleansing and forced emigration to Jordan, Sinai and Southern Europe have become a priority for the US and Israel. It is the only way to guarantee the security of the area and move forward with IMEC.
The West’s democratic rhetoric is only a veneer that hides its economic interests.
Israel is only the pawn of the US in the Middle East. All the wars in the region in recent decades have been nothing but neo-colonial operations aimed at securing control of gas, oil and trade routes. When Saddam Hussein declared his intention to sell oil in euros, he signed his death sentence. Why did Hamas launch a suicide raid on 7 October, two weeks after Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations Assembly about IMEC? Because it knew that if Saudi Arabia supported the project, the chances of a Palestinian state would vanish. It was a gesture of impotence and rage that materialised in a very cruel way, awakening the world’s understandable outrage.
The material conditions of production and the unjust distribution of profits are the real driving force of history.
The West’s democratic rhetoric is only a veneer that hides its economic interests. The US, the UK and the EU are controlled by the big banks and the big lobbies of the arms industry, gas, oil, electricity, food, new technologies and the pharmaceutical industry. Marx was not wrong. The material conditions of production and the unjust distribution of profits are the real driving force of history.
The West presents itself as the champion of freedom and human rights, but it is perpetrating genocide in Gaza, ignoring the protests of its citizens. The traditionally anti-Semitic right wing now supports Israel, knowing that it is an essential piece in a new world order designed by the economic elites. What can citizens do? Certainly protest, but above all not be fooled by the obscene rhetoric of the powerful. Palestinian children are being blown to death by Israeli bombs so that the businesses of the great powers can continue to make profits.
Rafael Narbona (Twitter)