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Monday, March 4, 2024

Why West is always found in the midst of chaos?

Joe Biden, the President of the United States, has accused Russia of being responsible for the human rights violations and international humanitarian catastrophe occurring in Ukraine. He referred to Putin as a "war criminal." Western experts on human rights criticize Russia for breaching the Ukrainians' dignity and fundamental human rights.

The West’s reaction to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been spectacular. Within days, the Trans-Atlantic schisms caused by Donald Trump’s populist foreign policy dissipated, and Russia faced unprecedented economic sanctions and the crippling of its financial system, robbing its central bank of the ability to use a significant portion of its foreign reserve for domestic economic stability. Moreover, by moving to supply Ukraine with unprecedented financial assistance and advanced military equipment, the West forced Russia to shift its offensive toward the Donbas region.

In line with the Western response, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe issued a report condemning Russia for its alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during its unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

Read more: Iran slams West’s ‘interference’ over Greek ships controversy

Palestinian Outrage

However, such a selective invocation of international law and embracing refugees with open arms have sparked indignation across Palestine, where many see a clear double standard in how the West responds to Israel’s activities in Palestine and how it has responded to the misery of the Ukrainian people.

Riad Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, termed the West’s unified and electrified response to the Ukrainian incursion “amazing hypocrisy”.

Even still, it is horrible to draw comparisons between conflicts, especially when civilians and refugees are on the line; the vast majority of Palestinians think that this incident has exposed the hypocrisy and unveiled the truth about the international community.

Consistent Western Support for Israeli Occupation of Palestine

Western hypocrisy, as asserted by the Palestinian foreign minister, does not exist, in my opinion, given Western democracies have consistently supported Israel since its establishment. It has never made contrary claims. Neither did they condemn the unilateral Israeli declaration of statehood after mass murdering unarmed Palestinian children, women and elderly and forcing the expulsion of over a half-million terrified residents of more than 500 towns and villages in 1948, nor on June 28, 1967, when Israel occupied the Eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Old City, and parts Egypt, Jordon and the Syrian Golan Heights.

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, told the United Nations Human Rights Council that the UN must convey a “resolute message” to Vladimir Putin to halt his incursion, which has devastated schools, hospitals, and residential structures and killed hundreds of innocent people. In the same breath, Blinken referred to continuing UN human rights council investigations into Israeli operations in the occupied territories as “a stain on the council’s credibility” and demanded that they be ended.

Read more: Russian Rouble gains value despite western economic sanctions

Joe Biden, the President of the United States, has accused Russia of being responsible for the human rights violations and international humanitarian catastrophe occurring in Ukraine. He referred to Putin as a “war criminal.” Western experts on human rights criticise Russia for breaching the Ukrainians’ dignity and fundamental human rights. In contrast, Palestinians are afraid to demand respect for their human rights, let alone western backing for their struggle against apartheid. They are scolded for the same reasons that Ukrainians are valued.

For years, the Palestinians have criticised Western countries for saying they want to eliminate Israeli brutality while supporting them financially, militarily, and politically. This has been a longstanding complaint.

Selective Silence Over Israeli Atrocities

By hurling stones at the occupying soldiers armed with machine guns, innocent Palestinian children are labelled “future terrorists”. In comparison, Ukrainians are hailed as heroes for throwing gasoline bombs at Russian troops. For breaking international law, sanctions are imposed on every area of the Russian economy, including sports, but Israeli acts of killing innocent civilians, journalists, and medical workers and damaging vital infrastructure are defended as “collateral damage”.

Ukrainians are given unequivocal support for being the underdogs in the conflict. Yet, Palestinians battling an occupying force armed with American-made F-35 fighter jets, nuclear weapons, and tanks are exhorted to exercise caution and moderation.

Contrary to current anti-immigration laws targeting those from the Middle East, the West has extended an open arm to refugees leaving war-torn Ukraine. Commentators in the mainstream media have characterised Ukrainian refugees as cultured and prosperous. A few politicians have also emphasised these refugees’ racial superiority. The Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, told reporters that these migrants are educated compared to those from the Global South whose identities could not be verified. They were individuals with dubious pasts who may have been terrorists.

Read more: Vladimir Putin to send chilling ‘doomsday’ warning to west in May 9 victory parade

Some western leaders’ Darwinian mindset should come as no surprise. There are many who still believe in the “Grand Displacement Theory” and perceive dark-skinned refugees as hordes out to overrun Europe. Western policies of both conservative and liberal governments have always been racist and imperialist.

The perpetual Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world’s eternal conundrum. The inability of the West to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes against the Palestinians, which have been recorded by a multitude of reputable Western human rights groups, demonstrates the hypocrisy of the West in its appeals for the observance of international law. The West is making the Palestinians pay for its atrocities against the Jewish people in the 20th century. Or perhaps from their perspective, dark-skinned Palestinians are less human than white, blue-eyed Ukrainians.

Regarding the predicament of Ukrainian migrants, one should feel nothing but sorrow. For many in Ukraine, the conflict poses a near-fatal threat to Ukrainian democracy and the country’s future as a normal European country. My point, however, is that victims of all wars endure the same agony, regardless of their race, creed, religion or gender. As a result, the West should vow to approach all occupations in a consistent and systematic manner, supporting boycotts and sanctions to urge the enforcement of international law.

Will the Western Silence Turn into Rage?

John F. Kennedy famously stated in 1959 that the Chinese phrase for “crisis” consists of two characters. One indicates danger, while the other represents an opportunity. President Kennedy’s sage advice that a crisis may create unique possibilities may be more pertinent than ever before.

Therefore, Western policymakers should explore the opportunities that may arise from the Ukraine conflict. This may appear callous, but it is crucial to ensuring that justice, rights, and freedom are available to all, not just a select few.

For the West, it is time to take stock and begin a process of corrective action to ensure the preservation of Western values of freedom, justice, and liberty everywhere.

International human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have called on the West to censure Israel for its atrocities and practice of apartheid, so will it?

Read more: Western efforts to undermine the Assad dynasty in Syria

Palestinian territory is being eroded before the eyes of the West with each new brick erected in the illegal settlements. Are they going to laud Palestinian resistance to Israeli theft of their lands with the same zeal as they do Ukraine’s struggle?

Will the Western eyes that have been apathetic towards the longest violent occupation in modern history become tearful at the miseries of the Palestinians?

Will they show solidarity with the oppressed against those who persecute them?

The answer to these questions is an unequivocal no, simply because the world community has grown much too desensitised to respond to, let alone criticise, Israeli atrocities. As a result, they are more affected by the invasion of Ukraine than by the recurring damage to the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Read more: Is the West-led International Order breathing its last?

Or it is possible that Palestinians are not as human as Ukrainians are since they were not born to blonde, blue-eyed mothers. It would be naive to assume that the hardship of the Palestinians will receive even a tenth of the attention that the tragedy of the Ukrainians is receiving in the age of rising white supremacy and evangelism in the West.

The writer is a MPhil in English. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.