Gaza: A Pause Before the Storm

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 4 Dec 2023

Pepe Escobar | The Cradle – TRANSCEND Media Service

Photo Credit: The Cradle

The US and its allies will continue backing Israel’s war on Gaza after a brief truce. But as the case for ‘genocide’ grows stronger, the new multipolar powers will have to confront the old hegemons and their Rules-Based Chaos.

23 Nov 2023 – While the world cries “Israeli genocide,” the Biden White House is gushing over the upcoming Gaza truce it helped broker, as though it’s actually “on the verge” of its “biggest diplomatic victory.”

Behind the self-congratulatory narratives, the US administration is not remotely “wary about Netanyahu’s endgame,” it fully endorses it – genocide included – as agreed at the White House less than three weeks before Al-Aqsa Flood, in a 20 September meeting between Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe “The Mummy” Biden’s handlers.

The US/Qatar-brokered “truce,” which is supposed to go into effect this week, is not a ceasefire. It is a PR move to soften Israel’s genocide and boost its morale by securing the release of a few dozen captives. Moreover, the record shows that Israel never respects ceasefires.

Predictably, what really worries the US administration is the “unintended consequence” of the truce, which will “allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel.”

Real journalists have been working in Gaza 24/7 since October 7 – dozens of whom have been killed by the Israeli military machine in what Reporters Sans Frontieres calls “one of the deadliest tolls in a century.”

These journalists have spared no effort to go all the way to “illuminate the devastation,” a euphemism for the ongoing genocide, shown in all its gruesome detail for the entire world to see.

Even the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA), itself relentlessly attacked by Israel, revealed – somewhat meekly – that this has been “the largest displacement since 1948,” an “exodus” of the Palestinian population, with the younger generation “forced to live through traumas of ancestors or parents.”

As for public opinion all across the Global South/Global Majority, it “turned” long ago on Zionist extremism. But now the Global Minority – populations of the collective west – are watching raptly, horrified, and bitter that in just six weeks, social media has exposed them to what mainstream media hid for decades. There will be no turning back now that this penny has dropped.

A former Apartheid state leads the way

The South African government has paved the path, globally, for the proper reaction to an unfolding genocide: parliament voted to shutter the Israeli embassy, expel the Israeli ambassador, and cut diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv. South Africans do know a thing or two about apartheid.

They, like other critics of Israel, better be extra wary moving forward. Anything can be expected: an outbreak of foreign intel-conducted “terra terra terra” false flags, artificially induced weather calamities, fake “human rights abuse” charges, the collapse of the national currency, the rand, instances of lawfare, assorted Atlanticist apoplexy, sabotage of energy infrastructure. And more.

Several nations should have by now invoked the Genocide Convention – given that Israeli politicians and officials have been bragging, on the record, about razing Gaza and besieging, starving, killing, and mass-transferring its Palestinian population. No geopolitical actor has dared thus far.

South Africa, for its part, had the courage to go where few Muslim and Arab states have ventured. As matters stand, when it comes to much of the Arab world – particularly the US client states – they are still in Rhetorical Swamp territory.

The Qatar-brokered “truce” came at precisely the right time for Washington. It stole the spotlight from the delegation of  Islamic/Arab foreign ministers touring selected capitals to promote their plan for a complete Gaza ceasefire in Gaza – plus negotiations for an independent Palestinian state.

This Gaza Contact Group, uniting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Palestine, made their first stop in Beijing, meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and then on to Moscow, meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. That was definitely an instance of BRICS 11 already in action – even before they started business on January 1st, 2024, under the Russian presidency.

The meeting with Lavrov in Moscow was held simultaneously with an extraordinary online BRICS session on Palestine, called by the current South African presidency. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, whose country leads the region’s Axis of Resistance and refuses any relations with Israel, supported the South African initiatives and called for BRICS member states to use every political and economic tool available to pressure Tel Aviv.

It was also important to hear from Chinese President Xi Jinping himself that “there can be no security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine.”

Xi stressed once again the need for “a two-state solution,” the “restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine,” and “the establishment of an independent state of Palestine.” This should all start via an international conference.

None of this is enough at this stage – not this temporary truce, not the promise of a future negotiation. The US administration, itself struggling with an unexpected global backlash, at best, arm-wrestled Tel Aviv to enact a short “pause” in the genocide. This means the carnage continues after a few days.

Had this truce been an actual “ceasefire,” in which all hostilities came to a halt and Israel’s war machine disengaged from the Gaza Strip entirely, the next-day options would still be pretty dismal. Realpolitik practitioner John Mearsheimer already cut to the chase: a negotiated solution for Israel-Palestine is impossible.

It takes a cursory glance at the current map to graphically demonstrate how the two-state solution – advocated by everyone from China-Russia to much of the Arab world – is dead. A collection of isolated Bantustans can never coalesce as a state.

Let’s grab all their gas

There has been thundering noise all across the spectrum that with the advent of the petroyuan getting closer and closer, the Americans badly need Eastern Mediterranean energy bought and sold in US dollars – including the vast gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.

Enter the US administration’s energy security advisor, deployed to Israel to “discuss potential economic revitalization plans for Gaza centered around undeveloped offshore natural gas fields:” what a lovely euphemism.

But while Gaza’s gas is indeed a crucial vector, Gaza, the territory, is a nuisance. What really matters for Tel Aviv is to confiscate all Palestinian gas reserves and allot them to future preferential clients: the EU.

Enter the India-Middle East Corridor(IMEC) – actually the EU-Israel-Saudi Arabia-Emirates-India Corridor – conceived by Washington as the perfect vehicle for Israel to become an energy crossroads power. It fancifully imagines a US-Israel energy partnership trading in US dollars – simultaneously replacing Russian energy to the EU and halting a possible export increase of Iran’s energy to Europe.

We return to the 21st century’s main chessboard here: the Hegemon vs. BRICS.

Beijing has had steady relations with Tel Aviv so far, with lavish investment in Israeli high-tech industries and infrastructure. But Israel’s pounding of Gaza may change that picture: no real Sovereign can hedge when it comes to real genocide.

In parallel, whatever the Hegemon may come up with in its various hybrid and hot war scenarios against the BRICS, China, and its multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), that will not alter Beijing’s rational and strategically formulated trajectory.

This analysis by Eric Li is all one needs to know about what lies ahead. Beijing has mapped out all relevant tech roads to follow in successive five-year plans, all the way to 2035. Under this framework, BRI should be considered a sort of geoeconomics UN without the G7. If you’re outside of BRI – and that concerns, to a large extent, old comprador systems and elites – you’re self-isolating from the Global South/Global Majority.

So what remains of this “pause” in Gaza? By next week, the western-backed cowards will restart their genocide against women and children, and they will not stop for a good long while. The Palestinian resistance and the 800,000 Palestinian civilians still living in northern Gaza – now surrounded on all sides by Israeli troops and armored vehicles – are proving that they are willing and able to bear the burden of fighting the Israeli oppressor, not only for Palestine but for everyone, everywhere, with a conscience.

Despite such a terrible price to be paid in blood, there will eventually be a reward: the slow but sure evisceration of the imperial construct in West Asia.

No mainstream media narrative, no PR move to soften the genocide, no containment of “public opinion turning on Israel” can ever cover the serial war crimes perpetrated by Israel and its allies in Gaza. Perhaps this is just what the Doctor – metaphysical and otherwise – ordered for mankind: an imperative global tragedy, to be witnessed by all, that will also transform us all.

_______________________________________________

Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil, is a correspondent and editor-at-large at Asia Times and columnist for Consortium News and Strategic Culture in Moscow. Since the mid-1980s he’s lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Singapore, and Bangkok. He has extensively covered Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia to China, Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East. He is the author of Globalistan (2007), Red Zone Blues (2007), Obama Does Globalistan (2009), Empire of Chaos (2014) and 2030 (2015), all by Nimble Books. Pepe was contributing editor to The Empire and The Crescent and Tutto in Vendita in Italy and is also associated with the Paris-based European Academy of Geopolitics. When not on the road he lives between Paris and Bangkok.

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