How Nations Could End Israeli Genocide
Hi-tech companies are a major source of support for the Israeli military and its slaughter of the people of Gaza.Here Google workers protest their company's support of what they described as apartheid in Israel at a demonstration at the Google Cloud Next conference last fall in San Francisco. | Arab Resource and Organizing Cen

If the nations of the world–particularly the United States and the Arab countries–wanted to stop Israel’s slaughter, torture and ethnic cleansing in Gaza, they could do so tomorrow with suspension of oil, arms and technology imports and exports to Israel.

Though “Free Palestine” “and Let Gaza Live” protesters may shut down bridges, occupy train stations and march by the millions in cities across the globe, key governments–the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and India– continue to keep commerce humming, monarchies in place and an empire standing even in the midst of what the World Court ruled was a plausible case of genocide. Members of the United Nations would do the world a favor if they followed the lead of South Africa at the International Court of Justice to condemn both in deed and action the crimes of Israel.

First the good news

In a February press release, seven national unions and over two hundred local unions announced the formation of the National Labor Network for Ceasefire (NLNC) to “end the death and devastation” in the Middle East, and to build support for the ceasefire among unions around the country. According to the NLNC, Unions calling for a ceasefire represent over 9 million union members, more than half the labor movement in the United States.

The seven national unions include: American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), the National Education Association (NEA), National Nurses United (NNU), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the United Electrical Workers (UE).

Whether the NLNC will join CODEPINK, Teachers Against Genocide, Doctors Against Genocide and other organizations on Capitol Hill opposed to President Biden’s request for a $95 billion war spending supplemental–$14 billion for weapons for Israel–seems unlikely–though not impossible–in an election year when the specter of another Trump union-busting presidency casts a fearful shadow. The AFL-CIO, representing 12.5 million workers, voted in January to endorse Biden’s re-election.

The NLNC joins the Democratic Party of five states: Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona and Washington–and over 40 cities calling for a ceasefire.

Italy, Spain & Belgium suspend arms

Until recently Italy was responsible for five percent of Israeli weapons purchases–helicopters and naval artillery–over the last ten years. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani claims, however, that Italy stopped all weapons shipments to Israel following that nation’s collective punishment of Gaza for October 7th.

If true, Italy joins Spain and Belgium, which have also suspended arms sales or ammunition shipments to Israel during its bombardment of Gaza.

Dutch Court says “No”

In mid-February, a Dutch appeals court instructed the Netherlands to stop sending F-35 fighter jet components to Israel. “The court finds that there is a clear risk that Israel’s F-35 fighter jets might be used in the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law,” ruled the court in response to a lawsuit filed by Oxfam and other human rights groups.

The court ruled the Dutch government had seven days to halt the supply of fighter jets and eight weeks to appeal.

UK outrage

Human rights organizations, the Global Legal Action Network in the UK and Al-Haq, in Ramallah, have taken legal action against the UK to halt arms sales to Israel totaling over $600-million since 2015, with the UK sending F-35 fighter jets to Israel for its assault on Gaza.

Palestinian rights activists, among them two Israeli dissidents Stavit Sinai and Ronnie Barkan were put on trial in the UK in January after the Bristol-area office of Elbit UK was sprayed with red paint, its windows sledgehammered. Elbit UK is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, an Israeli-based company that manufactures 500 pound bombs, artillery shells and drones for Israel’s genocide Gaza. Sinai, who lives in Germany but flew to England for the protest, said, “Taking action outside of the country where the crimes are taking place… has been proven to be extremely efficient to exert pressure on the perpetrators.”

Pushback in Canada

In an Open Letter (2/5/23) to Mélanie Joly, Canada’s prime minister, over a dozen organizations, including the Anglican Church of Canada, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam Canada, demanded Canada halt its weapons and military hardware sales to Israel that have totaled more than $100 million during the past decade. Canada’s foreign ministry insists it has not issued any permits for “full weapon systems for major conventional arms or light weapons to Israel for over 30 years.” Ceasefire advocates argue their government is not being transparent about the parts it supplies for missiles and bombs while continuing “to approve arms exports since October 7 despite the clear risk of genocide in Gaza.”

U.S. as biggest arms exporter to Israel

Chief among those governments that aid and abet Israeli genocide is the United States, which has a history of raiding the treasury to subsidize its proxy in the oil and gas rich Middle East. According to the State Department, the US has handed Israel’s military apparatus over $130-billion dollars since 1948, when Zionist terrorists destroyed over 500 villages, burning some to the ground, to establish a Jewish state on Palestinian land.

The State Department proudly asserts US subsidies have made the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), known to critics as Israel Occupation Forces (IOF), “one of the world’s most capable, effective militaries …”

Since October 7, the US has supplied Israel with 15,000 bombs, 57,000 artillery shells and one-hundred 2,000 pound bunker busters to penetrate deep underground tunnels beneath apartments, hospitals and refugee camps, turning densely populated neighborhoods into graveyards.

War profiteers

In a report entitled, “The Companies Profiting from Israel’s 2023-2024 Attacks on Gaza,” the American Friends Service Committee documents the role of US military contractors in aiding and abetting genocide in Gaza:

Raytheon (RTX), headquartered in Waltham, Mass., outfits the Israeli military with air-to-surface missiles for its F-16 fighter jets, as well as internationally-banned cluster bombs and bunker busters. Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Va., furnishes Israel with Longbow missile delivery systems while Lockheed Martin, its main office in Bethesda, Md., supplies Israel with Hellfire missiles, F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, their engine parts maintained by Pratt & Whitney, a Farmington, Conn. company that in 2015 signed a 15-year contract with the Israeli military.

“Pratt & Whitney is humbled and honored by the confidence Israeli leadership has placed in us and we look forward to working with local industries to provide continued, long-term support to the Israeli warfighter,” said Bennett Croswell, president, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines.

What if … ?

What would happen if US military contractors acceded to the demands of anti-war protesters in Massachusetts, California and Arizona holding demonstrations and die-in’s in front of Raytheon’s offices? If Congress and the White House pulled the plug on the annual near $4 billion subsidy for the Israeli military? If universities followed through on student resolutions, such as the measure passed at the University of California at Davis, to divest from companies profiting off the Israeli occupation?

Since the US provides Israel with roughly 15% of its military budget, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right coalition might have to rethink their campaign of Palestinian erasure or step up their shopping elsewhere, perhaps in Germany which has increased its weapons exports to Israel tenfold since October 7, with permit approvals close to $323 million, according to Reuters.

Arab complicity with Israeli genocide

In June, 2023, a few months before the Hamas raid, on the eve of a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia, Israel’s Defense Ministry reported the country had in 2022 exported over $12 billion in military products–drones, missile, rockets, air defense systems– with almost a quarter of the sales to Arab countries party to the Abraham Accords, bilateral normalization agreements. The Israel Defense Ministry would not identify its arms clients, but signatories and supporters of the Abraham Accords include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

Mint Press’ Minar Adley reports Morocco is building a military intelligence base for Israel in Afso on the border with Algeria, a country that has resoundingly condemned Israel’s genocide and pushed the UN Security Council to support a ceasefire. In “Why Morocco will not cut ties with Israel,” the Atlantic Council’s Sarah Zaaimi argues that despite massive street heat and a Moroccan consulate in Gaza, the government of Morocco will not break with Israel because the relationship is “a matter of national security for a monarchy that’s succeeded in surviving for twelve centuries.” Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, plans to construct two weapons factories in Morocco, while Elbit Systems has established Elbit System Emirates in the UAE to promote “long term cooperation” with the Israeli military.

CNN reports that in January the US–under the radar, without fanfare or press—sealed a deal with Qatar to continue operating for another ten years the US’ largest military base in the Middle East. The base that can house up to 10,000 troops Is a “pivotal hub for the US Central Command’s air operations in or around Afghanistan, Iran and across the Middle East.” Next door, at US naval headquarters in Bahrain, the US Fifth Fleet– stationed in the Red Sea with 7,000 US sailors–takes its cue from a command center.

What India could do

India tops the list as the largest importer of weapons from Israel, accounting for over 40% of Israel’s exports, but the relationship is not limited to imports from Israel. According to Middle East Eye, India co-produces weapons with Israel while coordinating joint military drills. For Indian leader Nadrendra Modi, a right-wing nationalist bent on violent subjugation of India’s 20 percent Muslim population, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians raises few concerns. In fact, Israel’s 75-year history of Palestinian erasure serves as a model for Indian nationalists spewing hateful rhetoric, forming lynch mobs and looting and torching Muslim homes.

Al Jazeera reports an estimated 130 countries, including Colombia, have purchased drones and spying technology from Israel, though Israel suspended weapons shipments to Latin America after Colombia’s left-leaning President Gustavo Petro, declined to condemn the Hamas October 7 attacks, later comparing Israel’s destruction in Gaza to the heinous actions of Nazi Germany.

Stop the oil

First the good news (well sort of …)
Yemen’s Houthis launched a solidarity blockade of Red Sea shipments to Israel resulting in an 85% drop in activity at Israel’s port of Eilat. Unfortunately, the Answar Allah’s demands for a ceasefire and commitment to uphold the UN Convention on Genocide has resulted in U.S. bombings of the impoverished nation’s capital Saana, one of the oldest cities in the Middle East.

Oil: From Azerbaijan through Turkey to Israel

Despite Turkish President Edogan’s tough anti-Israel rhetoric, Turkey remains a principal oil supplier to Israel with miles of pipelines that deliver oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, suppliers of anywhere from 40- 60% of Israel’s oil, through Turkey’s port of Ceyhan in the Eastern Mediterranean. Earlier, on October 21st, the tanker Seaviolet reportedly carried one million barrels of oil from Muslim Azerbaijan to Israel’s port of Eilat on the Red Sea, though since then Yemen’s Houthis have blockaded Red Sea shipments to Israel.

So how is oil reaching Israel now? British Petroleum, which has drilled for oil in Azerbaijan for three decades, is circumventing the Red Sea blockade to ship crude oil via the Horn of Good Hope in Africa, but there’s a more efficient solution for those intent on undermining the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

“Zionist Land Bridge”

Mint Press News cites Israel’s Hebrew Television Station Channel 13 reports that Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE are together undermining the Houthis’ efforts to block the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the passageway to the Suez Canal for a quarter of global trade, including oil to Israel. Rather than reroute ships through the treacherous waters of Africa’s Cape of Good Hope –adding a month and a million dollars in fuel to the journey–the four Arab countries have established land corridors, with goods first unloaded at the ports of Dubai and Bahrain, then transported overland on highways from the UAE to Saudi Arabia, then onto Jordan until the cargo reaches Israel via the 115-mile long Jordan Highway overlooking the Dead Sea.

While Israel imports almost all of its oil, it also exports crude to Bulgaria, India, Italy, Palestine and Australia, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (EOC), a data visualization tool developed at the MIT Media Lab.

A gas grab

For months there’s been speculation that Israel viewed October 7 as an opportunity to ethnically cleanse Gaza in order to exploit the coastal area’s natural gas resources. To grab the goods, however, Israel would first have to remove the Palestinians who might claim title.

In keeping with a plan hatched by the euphemistically named Defense Ministry, Israel told a million Palestinians to go south to Rafah for safety, only to bomb residential buildings while ramping up for a ground invasion of the city that straddles Egypt. Palestinian-rights advocates say this “go south” edict is to push Gazans further south into the scorching Sinai desert, into Egypt’s lap, into tent cities, into an exile reminiscent of the first Nakba in 1948 when Israel drove 750,000 Palestinians from their land to bar them from ever returning.

Pieces of the puzzle come together

In February Israel approved gas exploration licenses to six Israel and international companies for natural gas exploration in Palestine maritime areas off the coast of Gaza. Several organizations–Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights–warn Israel it had better cancel those contracts or face the consequences for violating international law.

In a world, however, where Israel repeatedly violates international law–including orders from the World Court to stop killing Palestinians and provide massive humanitarian aid— it’s unlikely those contracts will be canceled any time soon unless there is a tsunami of civil unrest or a collective uproar in the 193-member UN General Assembly. Under the Uniting for Peace resolution the General Assembly could with a 2/3rd’s vote (129 members) exert enormous pressure by sanctioning Israel and suspending it from UN activities.

Stop the tech

First the good news …
Internal dissent rocks Google in the United States, where employees waving Palestinian flags shut down Market Street (12/14/23) in San Francisco to protest Google’s Project Nimbus, a 1.2 billion contract with the Israeli military for cloud computing engineered by Google and Amazon. Months earlier, before October 7th, hundreds of Amazon and Google tech workers protested the contract in four cities across the country with signs reading, “No Tech for Apartheid.” In an open letter, anonymous employees in 2021 charged the Nimbus contract greenlights “unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land.”

Multinational corporations like Microsoft, Google, IBM and Intel all have offices in Israel. Google’s 8,000 square mile campus in Tel Aviv occupies eight floors of Electra Tower, with one floor reserved for Google’s “Campus Tel Aviv,” a hub for entrepreneurs and start-up companies. Hewlett-Packard–a target of the global BDS movement– profits off the Israeli occupation with biometric identification-hand and facial recognition–used at checkpoints throughout the West Bank, where excruciating wait times can take Palestinians all day to reach family in a village 30 miles away.

A boycott of Israel’s technology-computers, electronics, cybersecurity software–could send Israel’s economy into an inflationary spiral, for high tech contributes 18% of the gross domestic product, employs over 12% of the workforce, accounts for half the country’s exports and contributes 30% of the tax base, according to CNN.

Israel’s surveillance technology includes Pegasus spyware that can invade your cell phone, capture text messages and collect passwords, border drones that monitor the movement of migrants across the Mediterranean, thermal cameras that can see through walls during police raids and facial recognition software for cameras at checkpoints and borders.

One of Israel’s biggest trading partners is the European Union, which in 2018 purchased Elbit Systems drones to track and collect intelligence on asylum seekers. Critics charge the use of these drones without offering rescue operations for refugees risking their lives violates the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has long wanted the contracts canceled. Professor Richard Falk, Chair of Euro-Med’s Board of Trustees, said the purchase is outrageous considering the “repressive and unlawful ways” drones are used to oppress Palestinians in the occupied territories.

In the UAE, where dissent is outlawed and labor unions forbidden, those who might protest their country’s cozy relationship with Israel risk prison and torture, so it’s not surprising that the royal family easily welcomed an Israeli tech hub to Abu Dhabi in 2022 and announced plans for a UAE technology institute in Haifa come 2024. “We will work on some of the most interesting challenges in AI and at the same time contribute to the vision of scientific collaboration articulated in the Abraham Accords,” writes Yoelle Maarek, the soon-to-be director of the center, who previously worked as an executive at Google, IBM, Amazon, and Yahoo.

Another top shopper for Israeli tech is India, which, according to the New York Times, bought Pegasus Spyware in 2017 to keep tabs on opponents of Modi’s ultra-nationalist regime.

And it’s no secret that Saudi Arabia is one of Israel’s best customers for Israeli tech used to hack the phones and spy on people deemed enemies of the state. Though the planned normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel is off the table for now, Saudi Arabia’s 620-billion Public Investment Fund (PIF) continues to invest in Israeli tech start-ups.

Coming attractions on the tech market

The Israeli military says it’s relying on an artificial intelligence-based system called Habsora (the Gospel) to “produce targets at a fast pace” in Gaza, where to date Israel has killed over 28,000 and wounded over 68,000 people. Richard Moyes, a researcher for Article 36, a team of policy experts based in the UK, discounts the accuracy of AI algorithms, telling The Guardian, “We’re seeing the widespread flattening of an urban area with heavy explosive weapons, so to claim there’s precision and narrowness of force being exerted is not borne out by the facts.”

Getting serious about ending genocide

If nations anywhere in the supply chain are serious about ending genocide in Gaza and preventing a wider war, they can invoke the S in BDS and sanction Israel, prohibiting imports and exports of oil, weapons and technology. If the US, Canada, UK, Germany, India and the Arab countries complicit in Israel’s slaughter refuse to reverse course–if they insist on aiding and abetting genocide in the face of the International Court of Justice’s condemnation and global outrage over Israel’s slaughter, then it’s time for other countries to expose Israel and its abettors in a criminal tribunal on the floor of the United Nations to put the criminals, from Biden to Netanyahu, on trial for genocide.

Until that time, CODEPINK joins the global call to the UN General Assembly to sanction Israel as it brazenly violates International Court of Justice orders to stop killing and wounding Palestinians and start providing massive humanitarian aid. Our New York City delegation, which has encouraged countries to file declarations in support of South Africa’s case at the ICJ, delivers a strategic message as the delegation visits the UN missions: “NO MORE WEAPONS, OIL OR TECH FOR ISRAEL.”

It may be cliche to say, “If there’s a will, there’s a way,” but the truth is the collective power of the world–or even a sliver of the world–could stop the slaughter tomorrow.

The above article is a reprinted article sent out by CODEPINK. It is by Marcy Winograd who volunteers as the Coordinator of CODEPINK CONGRESS and a co-producer of CODEPINK Radio. She also co-coordinates CODEPINK’s World Court Campaign to support South Africa’s case against Israel’s genocide in Gaza. A retired English and government teacher, Marcy blogs about militarism and foreign policy.

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Marcy Winograd
Marcy Winograd

Marcy Winograd is a political activist who co-founded the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party and blogs at LA Progressive.