Renewed Diplomatic Efforts to Stop the Slaughter in Gaza

The most important strategic event of last week was the four-hour summit meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi on Nov. 15 in San Francisco, which both sides reported were constructive and reduced the growing conflict opposing the two major powers (cf. below). It is assumed, although not officially confirmed, that the two leaders also discussed the war in Ukraine and the even more pressing depopulation war in Gaza. That would have included discussion of China’s rapidly growing importance in diplomacy in South-West Asia. Could it have convinced Joe Biden to at least not oppose efforts by others to bring about a ceasefire?

In any event, on Nov. 20, Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted the visit of a delegation of five foreign ministers from four major Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, and Jordan, and of the Palestinian Authority, together with the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. They are demanding immediate action to bring about a ceasefire in Gaza and to ensure the protection of civilians. The delegation then flew from Beijing to Moscow, and then visited both London and Paris on Nov. 22, where they were joined by the Turkish and Nigerian Foreign Ministers. The plan is to visit all capitals of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to further their demands.

China holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, and convened in that capacity a special session of the Council on Nov. 20, on the means to “Promote Sustainable Peace Through Common Development” — an approach consistently favored by EIR and the Schiller Institute. Briefings were given by guest experts Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank, and Jeffrey Sachs, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, who has been speaking out against war; as well as by UN Secretary General António Guterres.

In addition, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Nov. 20 that he would host an online emergency meeting the next day of the heads of state and government of the BRICS group, which includes China and Russia, as well as Brazil and India. The leaders of the six new members as of Jan. 1 have also been invited (Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates).

It seems, as of this writing, that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed on a deal involving a longer truce to allow urgent aid to be delivered, and the release of some of the hostages against some Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

But for the moment, on the ground in Gaza, the horror goes on. Gaza City has been destroyed, medical centers and schools in both the north and the south continue to be shelled. We have all seen the sickening images of the Al-Shifa hospital. The “evidence” presented by the Israeli Defense Forces that the hospital was used by Hamas as a nerve center has been refuted as “scanty”, “unconvincing”, or fabricated, including by such Western mainstream media as the Washington Post, CNN and the BBC. As Human Rights Watch and the New York Times, among others, have pointed out, bombing a hospital with civilian patients inside is illegal under international humanitarian law. Now, nowhere in the Gaza Strip is safe. Lines of fleeing refugees and their shelters in the south have also been shelled, under the pretext that they serve as human shields for Hamas. The latest death tally, as of Nov. 21, is 13,360.

In this context, it is essential to seek workable solutions, without being carried away by emotions. Those potential solutions will be discussed at the Nov. 26 forum organized by the International Peace Coalition (cf. previous item).

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