Rishi Sunak, Fascism & the Destruction of Gaza
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of the state and corporate power.”
Benito Mussolini was one charming hooligan, wasn’t he? He may have nailed it, though, when he set about defining fascism. It was, after all, the unholy alliance of companies like IG Farben (Agfa, BASF, and Bayer today—the company never went away), IBM, Merck, Ford, Krupp and Shell that formed the ‘skeleton’, or perhaps the machinery, of the Nazi state apparatus. Without the formidable power of industry behind it, the Nazi Reich could never have organised as thoroughly as they did. The armaments factories, the hardware, the trains, the death camps, Zyklon B, bombs, the administration, the mechanisation and the manpower to oversee and run it all—none of it would have been possible without the total collaboration of industry. And big finance, of course. J.P. Morgan Chase, for instance. The same outfit from whom Tony Blair was gifted millions for his assistance in the destruction of Iraq, and the very same people to whom Volodimir Zelensky makes obeisance when he flies to New York (before he visits the UN, before even going to see the President), and who wouldn’t like to see an inquiry into J.P. Morgan’s role in that war? Funny, that, how these same names crop up every time there’s mass killing going on...
Today in Gaza, we’re witnessing in real time the most vicious destruction of life and property we’ve seen in the 21st century. This is (according to the very pronouncements of the Israeli government) an ethnic cleansing and a genocide, but what’s the motivation? Eradication of Hamas is the stated goal, but you don’t kill 15,000 civilians (including 6,000 children) and destroy 60 or 70 per cent of a region’s housing if your goal is the elimination of a so-called terrorist organisation who mostly exist underground. As the Israelis themselves have stated, the goal is destruction. But to what end?
Multinationals operate in warzones today just as pervasively as they did during the second world war. In 2000, a massive gas field worth an estimated 5 billion dollars was discovered off the coast of Gaza. Originally, the Palestinian Authority gave licenses to BG Group to explore the fields, but this move was later blocked by Israel. Israel’s blockade in 2007 made it impossible for Hamas to exploit the offshore discovery, and in 2008, Israel declared sovereignty over Gaza’s entire marine area, impeding any further development of the project.
On October 30th this year, three weeks after the current conflict started, the Israeli Energy Ministry announced it had awarded 12 contracts for gas exploration off the coast. One of those contracts was awarded to BP. A few months before the announcement, it was reported that the firm owned by Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law, Infosys, in which Sunak’s wife own’s a significant stake, signed a contract with BP worth 1.5 billion dollars. One of Infosys’s interests is in oil and gas exploration. Let’s say, for sake of argument, that Infosys’s contract involved gas exploration off the Gaza coast. Could we then reasonably expect Rishi Sunak to make an impartial decision on the British State’s position on the conflict in Gaza? Assuming Infosys will be involved in the exploration of Gaza’s gas fields, tell me Rishi Sunak does not understand that the fulfilment of the contract from which his wife (and in-laws, and himself, presumably) will directly profit is directly conditional on a rejection of a permanent ceasefire and the continued destruction of Gaza and the total displacement and ethnic cleansing of its people.
Another of Infosys’s clients is Shell, once contracted during the second world war by the Nazi SS to provide forced labour (look it up). Yet another one of those companies that has a knack of showing up when people are dying in huge numbers in order that corporations may make obscene amounts of money.
Whatever way you choose to define fascism, making money on the bodies of thousands of dead children seems to me to perfectly fit the description, and the mechanised displacement and murder of almost two million people is no less a crime than the Holocaust. It's not just about the numbers. Or perhaps it is. Maybe when the political establishment of Israel compare the figure of $5,000,000,000 against the scores of dead Gazan children and civilians, the numbers are very simple indeed.