Washington rolls out the red carpet for war criminal Gallant, as US imperialism prepares to endorse Israel’s war in Lebanon

The visit of war criminal and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to Washington demonstrates once again American imperialism’s support for Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza as part of a region-wide war targeting Iran. Gallant, who infamously labelled the Palestinians “human animals” as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began its genocidal onslaught on Gaza, held discussions on securing more US weapons and expanding the war to confront Hezbollah in Lebanon.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, Nov. 30, 2023. [AP Photo/Saul Loeb]

Gallant arrived in Washington almost exactly one month after Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, applied for arrest warrants for him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on war crimes charges. He has overseen the inhuman blockade of all basic necessities into the Gaza Strip, which has led to the spread of hunger, disease and misery on a horrific scale. On the second day of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, he declared, “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.”

A recent United Nations report accused the Israeli regime, of which Gallant and Netanyahu are leading representatives, of “extermination,” “war crimes,” and other “crimes against humanity.” Gallant’s Defense Ministry oversees what the report described as “one of the most criminal armies in the world.” This army has officially killed over 37,000 Palestinians in less than nine months, the vast majority of them women and children.

By rights, Gallant and his entourage should have been arrested immediately after exiting their aircraft and transferred to the ICC for prosecution. But the defense minister had nothing to fear during his trip to Washington. Far from being held accountable for his barbaric crimes, Gallant was welcomed in the cockpit of world imperialism with open arms by fellow war criminals drenched in the blood of Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans, Ukrainians and Russians. These war criminals never tire of invoking the precepts of international law to denounce the targets of US imperialism’s wars of aggression, but they refuse to be bound by any such restraints as they and their allies pursue the defense of the “rules-based international order.”

Gallant held meetings with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Biden administration’s special envoy for the Middle East Amos Hochstein and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

Graham remarked following his discussion with Gallant that any attack by Hezbollah on Israel that breaches the Iron Dome defense system would be “considered an Iranian attack against Israel.” He continued:

The world must hold Iran accountable for the actions of its proxies, including Hezbollah, at this crucial moment in the life of the State of Israel. 

It must be made crystal clear to Iran that if they try to use Hezbollah to destroy Israel, we’re all coming after the Iranian regime.

Gallant’s consultations in Washington have the character of a war council plotting precisely how best to expand the war throughout the Middle East, a prospect that is viewed by multiple international players as imminent. Following the IDF’s announcement last Tuesday that the operational plans for a war in Lebanon had been “approved,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stated Monday, “The risk of this war affecting the south of Lebanon and spilling over is every day bigger. We are on the eve of the war expanding.”

According to Israel’s Channel 12, the Canadian government has already dispatched military personnel to the region to begin planning the evacuation of 45,000 Canadian citizens in Lebanon when the war breaks out.

This reality is covered over in official media coverage with talk about the Biden administration’s efforts to secure a “ceasefire” in Gaza. Even the IDF has stated that its large-scale operations in Rafah, where upwards of a million people have been forced to flee since early May, are coming to an end.

Gallant’s Defence Ministry spoke in a recent statement of “phase three” in the Gaza conflict, characterised by “low intensity” strikes to eliminate what remains of the Palestinians’ infrastructure after almost nine months of continuous bombardment. But this would only mean a potential shift in focus for Israel’s war from Gaza to what Gallant and former War Cabinet member Benny Gantz refer to regularly as the “northern front,” i.e., Hezbollah and Lebanon.

The principal force escalating the region-wide war is American imperialism. As the World Socialist Web Site has explained, Washington fully endorsed Israel’s genocidal “final solution” of the Palestinian question in Gaza as part of its preparations for a war to consolidate US imperialist hegemony in the energy-rich Middle East. The International Committee of the Fourth International presciently warned in a October 9 statement denouncing the launch of the Zionist regime’s onslaught in response to the events of October 7:

The imperialist leaders and their media echo chamber are opposing not “terrorism” but mass opposition to occupation and the terror inflicted daily by Israel. And they will do so up to and including supporting genocide against the Palestinians and extending this to a regional war against Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

US imperialism is pushing towards a region-wide war against Iran on the Middle East front of a rapidly developing third world war. The major powers are locked in a ruthless redivision of the world aimed at securing access to raw materials, markets and geostrategic influence, and outdoing and ultimately subjugating their competitors.

For American imperialism, which has waged over three decades of uninterrupted wars in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa in a desperate bid to offset its economic decline through the use of its overwhelming military force, the preservation of its global dominance is at stake. To this end, it is determined to inflict a devastating strategic defeat on Russia in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe as a stepping stone to the crushing of its main economic rival, China.

In these conflicts, the North American and European imperialists are prepared to commit any crime and risk everything, including the outbreak of a nuclear conflagration that would call the very survival of humanity into question. This is why governments in the United States, Germany and the other imperialist centres have backed Israel’s genocide to the hilt, and employed brutal state repression against all opposition to the extermination of the Palestinians. They intend to wage their world war on all fronts no less ruthlessly and with just as little regard for the lives of their victims as the Zionist regime has shown for those of Palestinian civilians.

The embrace of the war criminal Gallant by both parties of the US political establishment underlines the basis upon which the World Socialist Web Site has called for a demonstration on July 24 in Washington D.C. to coincide with Netanyahu’s planned address to Congress. The WSWS International Editorial Board wrote in its statement calling for the rally:

The purpose of this demonstration, however, is not simply to protest Netanyahu but the role of American imperialism and the entire political establishment in directing, financing, arming and politically justifying the genocide. …

In defense of its interests and the capitalist profit system, the corporate and financial oligarchy is driving mankind toward an abyss. The permanent war of the ruling class must be answered with the perspective of permanent revolution by the working class, the strategic goal of which is the abolition of the nation-state system and the establishment of a world socialist federation.