February 28, 2024

Ukraine’s support of Israel amid tensions with Palestine raises concerns of West’s ‘hypocrisy’

October 8, 2023 at 1:02 AM GMT+1·4 min read

Palestinians take control of an Israeli tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vocalized support for Israel over Palestine on Saturday, raising concerns about the West’s “hypocrisy” in its response to the two conflicts.

Soon after, Columbian President Gustavo Petro, among others online, urged the United Nations in a statement to immediately call for two peace conferences on Ukraine and Palestine — referring back to remarks he made to the U.N. on September 19.

In his U.N. speech, Petro had said that the peace conferences are necessary — not because there are no other conflicts in the world — but because the varied response to them shows “hypocrisy of political practice.”

Petro on Saturday also hit out at European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for “encouraging a vengeful response” by Israel in a statement on Twitter. He then shared videos of the Israeli military dropping missiles on Palestinians.

The Israeli Defense Forces declared the country at war and launched large-scale military operations against Hamas militants Saturday after thousands of rockets struck in Israeli territory.

Petro’s response was one of many by world leaders and global citizens who criticized the characterization of the new conflict as being caused by Palestinian aggression.

Newspaper op-eds and online blogs have noted such alleged hypocrisy throughout the Ukraine war with various intents. Some have said the hypocrisy has shown the need for increased support of Palestine while others have said it shows why support for Ukraine should be ended.

Many people around the globe believe Israel has long conducted violence against Palestine — which is, as they put it, simply resisting illegal occupation.

In fact, data provided by the United Nations shows that Israel forces killed 227 Palestinians so far this year while just 29 Israelis had been slain by Palestinian attackers before Saturday’s Hamas offensive.

“That this honorable achievement of the Palestinian people proves again that the only way to achieve the legitimate rights of the Palestinians is to resist in all its forms and defy the crippled Zionist occupation authorities that increased its oppressive actions against its fellow Palestinian people,” Syria’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Syria condemned Israel for its “brutal occupation practices” and said that Israel’s response “proves the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on their land” while condemning what are largely considered illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.

“The Palestinian resistance and its heroes deserve all the support from all Arab countries and from the fighters for freedom, progress and independence all over the world,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said.

Yemen’s Foreign Ministry in a statement also called for an “end to the provocations of the Israeli occupation forces and their repeated attacks on the Palestinian people and their sanctuaries.”

Russia and Turkey expressed their concerns over the violence and called for a two-state solution to the conflict, particularly the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the internationally recognized 1967 borders with a capital in East Jerusalem that co-exists with Israel in peace and security.

“We regard the current large-scale escalation as another extremely dangerous manifestation of a vicious circle of violence resulting from chronic failure to comply with the corresponding resolutions of the U.N. and its Security Council and the blocking by the West of the work of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators made up of Russia, the United States, the EU and the UN,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah also praised Hamas for its surprise attack on Israel, which occurred as Israel was seeking to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia after establishing diplomacy with the UAE two years ago.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called the situation “unprecedented” with a “high level of violence on several fronts there.”

“The Kingdom renews the call of the international community to assume its responsibilities and activate a credible peace process that leads to the two-state solution to achieve security and peace in the region and protect civilians,” said Saudi Arabia.

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a leading United Arab Emirates academic, called the Hamas militants “heroes” on social media, and human rights activist Hossam Baghat wrote, “You cannot support freedom fighters in Ukraine as they resist Russian occupation but not in Palestine.”

“His Majesty King Abdullah II received a call today from U.S. President Joe Biden on the deteriorating situation between the Palestinians and the Israelis, means to end escalation and protect civilians,” the Embassy of the Kingdom of Jordan said in a statement.

“His Majesty urges international efforts to restore political horizon for peace on the basis of the two-state solution.”

Meanwhile, Western leaders – who have long supported Ukraine — supported Israel and said the nation had the right to defend itself under international law after its military launched retaliatory strikes in the Gaza Strip that killed at least 198 and left thousands more wounded.

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