It is said that truth is the first casualty of war, and that is clear now in the main mass media headlines that endorse Netanyahu’s drive to ramp up the Nakba. The war on the Palestinians in Gaza continues 75 years of genocide and also escalates the role of the arms industry in Israeli apartheid.
As the Campaign Against the Arms Trade noted, the UK government has been supplying weapons for decades. The UK arms industry supplies components for F35 stealth combat aircraft now bombing Gaza, for example, and that brings plum profits to the main contractor, Lockheed Martin. That UK involvement pales into insignificance, however, in comparison with the eye-watering profits that Wall Street is already hoping for. Third-quarter earnings this month have risen, and financial analysts from Morgan Stanley and TD Bank are banking on the war rolling in the money.
The 106 billion dollars that Biden has asked Congress for will benefit the aerospace and weapons sectors, which already saw a significant percentage rise on the stock market immediately after the attack by Hamas on 7 October. Crocodile tears over the attack, and then the blatant disregard for the lives of hostages in Gaza as the IDF moves in to cleanse the area of Palestinians, draw attention away from these silver linings for the arms industry. Those tears are also, by the way, bitter evidence of complaints in the mainstream Israeli press that Netanyahu’s cynical support for Hamas—support that was designed to undermine the Palestinian Authority—would ‘blow up in his face’.
General Dynamics Corporation, an American publicly traded aerospace and defence corporation, is the fifth-largest defence contractor in the world by arms sales and the fifth-largest in the United States by total sales. Its president recently reported, during its 25 October “earnings call” that ““Hamas has created additional demand”, and the chief financial officer noted that “if you look at the incremental demand potential coming out of that, the biggest one to highlight and that really sticks out is probably on the artillery side.”
Morgan Stanley’s head of aerospace and defence equity research was also upbeat. The day before, during a meeting about Raytheon, the world’s largest producer of guided missiles, they reported that “this seems to fit quite nicely with the Raytheon Defence portfolio,” and Raytheon’s chairman and executive director agreed, saying, “I think really across the entire Raytheon portfolio, you’re going to see a benefit of this restocking… on top of what we think is going to be an increase in the [Department of Defence] top line [budget].”
These companies each, of course, have statements on “human rights”, but that means nothing when set against the balance sheets of major arms industries, whether in the US or in the UK. This while the US is busy and mostly under radar, while the Pentagon sets up a multimillion-dollar contract to build troop facilities for a secret base in the Negev desert near Gaza, and Keir Starmer shamefully sets the Labour Party against a ceasefire.
The call for a ceasefire, an urgent first demand of the Palestine solidarity movement, is a threat not only to the racist Israeli apartheid state but also to the economic infrastructure of the so-called “developed” world, as it destroys any resistance and silences voices for rights and dignity and hopes for another world.
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