Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, March 2014
US and EU Hypocrisy on Display over Crimea
By Nureddin Sabir
Editor, Redress Information & Analysis
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, March 24, 2014
This is rank hypocrisy of the highest order.
The United States and its European allies have reacted with fury to the Crimean referendum, which resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of breaking away from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.
Reuters news agency reported that the US and the European Union reacted to the vote by imposing sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, on officials from Russia as well as pro-Russian Ukrainian officials. According to the agency,
US President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on 11 Russians and Ukrainians on Monday [17 March] blamed for Moscow’s military seizure of Crimea, including ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, and Vladislav Surkov and Sergei Glazyev, two aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin…
In Brussels, the EU’s 28 foreign ministers agreed on a list of 21 Russian and Ukrainian officials to be subject to travel bans and asset freezes for their roles in the events…
Washington and Brussels said more measures could follow in the coming days if Russia does not back down and formally annexes Crimea.
“Today’s actions send a strong message to the Russian government that there are consequences for their actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including their actions supporting the illegal referendum for Crimean separation,” the White House said.
Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights and Arab Jerusalem
Now, turn the clock back, first to 27 June 1967. On that day, following a premeditated act of aggression which resulted in the seizure of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, the Egyptian-administered Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Jordanian-administered West Bank, Israel annexed Arab East Jerusalem, which it proclaimed as its eternal capital. Fourteen years later, on 14 December 1981, it did the same again, this time annexing the Syrian Golan Heights. And that’s not all. In the occupied West Bank, Israel set about systematically stealing Palestinian land and colonizing it with Jewish squatters brought in from all over the world (see here and here).
Both the 1967 and 1981 annexations, and the colonization of occupied territory, are flagrant violations of international law. However, in contrast to the Euro-American reaction to the Crimean referendum, the US and its European allies never entertained the idea of imposing sanctions on Israel for its annexations and colonization of stolen land. In fact, they rewarded Israeli transgressions with huge amounts of aid – in the case of the US military and economic aid amounting to 3.4 billion dollars in 2014 and in the case of the EU preferential trade agreements.
At least the people of Crimea – Russian territory until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev arbitrarily gave it to Ukraine as a “gift” in1954 – had an opportunity to vote on whether or not to join Russia. No such opportunity was afforded to the peoples of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank, not even a flawed one.
The case of the two airliners
But there is form to the Western double standards shown towards Russia on the one hand and Israel on the other. On 21 February 1973 a Libyan airliner that had strayed over then Israeli-occupied Sinai was shot down by the Israelis, killing 108 passengers and crew. Were sanctions imposed on the Israeli terrorists who needlessly shot down the airliner? Does anyone even remember Flight LN 114?
It was, of course a very different story 10 years later, when the Soviet air force shot down a South Korean airliner that had flown through prohibited Soviet airspace around the time of a US reconnaissance mission, killing 269 passengers and crew. Then, in contrast to Israel’s shooting down of Libyan airlines Flight LN 114, sanctions and boycotts were the order of the day, and the incident ushered in a spate of anti-Soviet sentiment, particularly in the United States and Britain.
We don’t care very much for Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Its support of Bashar Assad’s murderous sectarian regime in Syria, which prolonged the Syrian civil war and allowed the Islamist serpents to hijack the Syrian revolution, can never be forgiven. We care even less for Ukraine – a retarded society riddled with fascists and neo-Nazis and with a proven track record of collusion with Israel.
But we do care about the truth and integrity, both conspicuous by their absence in the US and European reactions to the crisis in Crimea.
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