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West's hypocrisy on Ukraine vs. Israel draws flak

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during clashes in the centre of the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on March 4, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

US and its European allies are under fire for backing sanctions and war crimes probes against Russia for its offensive in Ukraine but blocking them over persisting Israeli atrocities in occupied Palestinian territories.

Human rights organizations urged the United Nations last month to impose targeted sanctions against Israel for breaching international law by practicing a form of apartheid and committing a crime against humanity in its “domination” of the Palestinians.

Palestinian authorities and UN special rapporteurs on the Israeli-occupied lands in Palestine have also pushed for sanctions over Tel Aviv's land seizures in the West Bank, the blockade of the densely populated Gaza Strip and the massive killing of Palestinian civilians.

President of the Arab American Institute in Washington James Zogby compared the Western media's portrayal of Ukrainians throwing petrol bombs as heroic defenders of their territory to Palestinians characterized as "terrorists" or militants for resisting Israeli occupation and land seizures.

Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, also contrasted American support for sanctions against Russia with attempts in US Congress to outlaw boycotts across the United States against the Israeli regime or its settlements in occupied Palestine.

Former director of a US-based rights agency's Middle East division, Sarah Leah Whitson, said there are clear parallels between Israeli violations of international law and those in the Ukraine conflict.

“We see that not just the US government but US companies are falling over themselves to sanction and boycott anything that has an association with the Russian government,” she said. 

“Contrast that with the exact opposite when it comes to sanctioning Israel for its violations of international law to the point where American states are passing laws to punish Americans unless they promise never to boycott Israel."

"It’s very clear that the grounds for resisting sanctions on Israel, or even compliance with international law, is purely political,” she added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded last Tuesday that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) must send a “resolute message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin to halt the country's military operation that he claimed had destroyed schools, hospitals and residential buildings, and killed hundreds of civilians.

“These are the human rights abuses this council was created to stop. If we cannot come together now, when will we come together?” he said.
Blinken, however, censured in the same speech ongoing UNHRC investigations into Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories as “a stain on the council’s credibility,” calling for them to be halted. 

The probes have found the Israeli regime responsible for persistent “violations of the right to life” and other crimes against Palestinians.
The US is not alone in facing accusations of blatant hypocrisy. 

Britain and Canada have also led calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to probe "Russian war crimes" in Ukraine. 

Last year, however, the two countries said the ICC should drop an investigation of the Israeli regime in part on the grounds that Palestine is not a sovereign country, although it is recognized as a state by the UN.

Britain's Labour Party MP Julie Elliott admitted before the parliament that there was a double standard when it comes to standing up for Palestinians.

“The Palestinians are looking to us to speak and act in the same terms. We sanctioned Russia over Crimea, and we are now likely to impose more sanctions, with which I wholeheartedly agree, yet Palestinians ask why we do nothing to end Israel’s occupation,” she said.

Critics worldwide have also accused international footballing bodies, such as FIFA and UEFA, of contradictory policies.

UEFA fined the Scottish Premier League team Celtic after its fans flew Palestinian flags at international games, saying that they were political symbols. Ukrainian flags, however, have been widely flown at recent matches with the approval of footballing authorities.

US and its European allies are under fire for backing sanctions and war crimes probes against Russia for its offensive in Ukraine but blocking them over persisting Israeli atrocities in occupied Palestinian territories.

Human rights organizations urged the United Nations last month to impose targeted sanctions against Israel for breaching international law by practicing a form of apartheid and committing a crime against humanity in its “domination” of the Palestinians.

Palestinian authorities and UN special rapporteurs on the Israeli-occupied lands in Palestine have also pushed for sanctions over Tel Aviv's land seizures in the West Bank, the blockade of the densely populated Gaza Strip and the massive killing of Palestinian civilians.

President of the Arab American Institute in Washington James Zogby compared the Western media's portrayal of Ukrainians throwing petrol bombs as heroic defenders of their territory to Palestinians characterized as "terrorists" or militants for resisting Israeli occupation and land seizures.

Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, also contrasted American support for sanctions against Russia with attempts in US Congress to outlaw boycotts across the United States against the Israeli regime or its settlements in occupied Palestine.

Former director of a US-based rights agency's Middle East division, Sarah Leah Whitson, said there are clear parallels between Israeli violations of international law and those in the Ukraine conflict.

“We see that not just the US government but US companies are falling over themselves to sanction and boycott anything that has an association with the Russian government,” she said. 

“Contrast that with the exact opposite when it comes to sanctioning Israel for its violations of international law to the point where American states are passing laws to punish Americans unless they promise never to boycott Israel."

"It’s very clear that the grounds for resisting sanctions on Israel, or even compliance with international law, is purely political,” she added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded last Tuesday that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) must send a “resolute message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin to halt the country's military operation that he claimed had destroyed schools, hospitals and residential buildings, and killed hundreds of civilians.

“These are the human rights abuses this council was created to stop. If we cannot come together now, when will we come together?” he said.
Blinken, however, censured in the same speech ongoing UNHRC investigations into Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories as “a stain on the council’s credibility,” calling for them to be halted. 

The probes have found the Israeli regime responsible for persistent “violations of the right to life” and other crimes against Palestinians.

The US is not alone in facing accusations of blatant hypocrisy. 

Britain and Canada have also led calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to probe "Russian war crimes" in Ukraine. 

Last year, however, the two countries said the ICC should drop an investigation of the Israeli regime in part on the grounds that Palestine is not a sovereign country, although it is recognized as a state by the UN.

Britain's Labour Party MP Julie Elliott admitted before the parliament that there was a double standard when it comes to standing up for Palestinians.

“The Palestinians are looking to us to speak and act in the same terms. We sanctioned Russia over Crimea, and we are now likely to impose more sanctions, with which I wholeheartedly agree, yet Palestinians ask why we do nothing to end Israel’s occupation,” she said.

Critics worldwide have also accused international footballing bodies, such as FIFA and UEFA, of contradictory policies.

UEFA fined the Scottish Premier League team Celtic after its fans flew Palestinian flags at international games, saying that they were political symbols. Ukrainian flags, however, have been widely flown at recent matches with the approval of footballing authorities.


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