Friday 19 July 2024 
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Ukraine crisis highlights West’s hypocrisy over Israeli land theft

The sudden concern for international law regarding Ukraine is nowhere to be found when it comes to Israel’s illegal occupation and annexation of Palestinian and Syrian land, and its imposition of an apartheid regime on the entire Palestinian people – a crime against humanity.

Just a day after Moscow recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk from Ukraine, the European Union came out swinging against what it characterized as “Russian aggression.”
 

It condemned Moscow’s move as “illegal and unacceptable” and vowed swift sanctions “to target those who were involved in the illegal decision.”

 

The measures will also hit “banks that are financing Russian military and other operations in those territories” and aim to thwart the “ability of the Russian state and government to access the EU’s capital and financial markets and services.”

 

These sanctions – likely to be followed by others – supposedly flow from the EU’s deep respect for “international law,” as well as the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Ukraine.

 

The US is also laying out sanctions in response to what Washington describes as a Russian “invasion” of the two eastern regions that have been under the control of pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
 

Germany, which is largely dependent on gas supplies from Russia, announced the suspension of plans to build the Nordstream 2 pipeline.
 

The crisis in Ukraine today can be traced to American sponsorship of the 2014 coup against the country’s elected pro-Russian president that brought far-right and even neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists to power.
 

Washington’s goal has been to bring Ukraine into the anti-Russia NATO military alliance – something Moscow sees as an existential threat – and is strongly opposed by many among Ukraine’s large ethnic Russian population.

 

Yet the sudden concern for international law regarding Ukraine is nowhere to be found when it comes to Israel’s illegal occupation and annexation of Palestinian and Syrian land, and its imposition of an apartheid regime on the entire Palestinian people – a crime against humanity.

 

These Israel crimes could of course not be perpetrated without American and European support or acquiescence.

 


When the Trump administration moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017, effectively recognizing Israel’s illegal annexation of the city, the EU rejected the move.

 

The EU also rejected the 2019 US recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation of Syria’s occupied Golan Heights.

 

Ironically, one of the handful of countries ready to follow the US in recognizing Israel’s illegal annexation of Jerusalem is none other than the US and EU-backed government in Ukraine.

 

Notably, the Biden administration has refused to rescind Trump’s recognition of Israel’s blatantly illegal acts – even as Washington blasts Russia for recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk.

 

Indeed, Biden himself maintains an illegal US occupation of parts of Syria.

 

Under Trump, its explicit purpose was to plunder the country’s oil.

 

Yet the European Union, which has criticized both the US and Russia for their actions, has not imposed any sanctions on Washington for aiding and abetting Israel’s crimes.

 

That is hardly surprising. For decades, the European Union has acknowledged that Israel’s occupation, theft and annexation of Palestinian land is illegal, but instead of sanctioning it, Brussels rewards and encourages it.

 

The stark contrast with the immediate American and EU resort to sanctions against Russia is not lost on Palestinians.

 

“For us as Palestinians, we see this discussion and we ask ourselves, where is this discussion when it comes to Palestine?” Wesam Ahmad, of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, said on Tuesday.

 

Ahmad was speaking during a webinar hosted by Finnish lawmaker Veronika Honkasalo, focusing on a bill she has introduced to ban trade in goods from occupied territories.

 

“The occupation of Palestinian territory has been going on for a much longer period of time,” Ahmad observed.

 

He said that the persistent “lack of action” in response to Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and international law “undermines the credibility of the rule of law being something that applies across the board.”

 

The Article was first published by The Electronic Intifada.




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