We sanctioned Russia, why not "Israel"? Activists denounce double standards
Politicians, activists, and officials call the west out on its double standards.
Washington and some European allies are facing a wave of accusations of double standards regarding their support for sanctions and investigations into alleged war crimes amid the Ukraine crisis. On the other hand, the west blocks any criticism, investigation, or sanctions against obvious Israeli war crimes in occupied Palestine.
Pro-Israelis have fired back, however, saying that they are exploiting Ukrainian suffering to compare falsely.
In February, Amnesty International called on the UN to sanction "Israel" for breaching international law for its apartheid practices, committing crimes against humanity, and practicing domination over the Palestinian population. Palestinian officials and UN special rapporteurs alike have been pressing for sanctions on "Israel" for their blockade on Gaza, mass murder of Palestinians, and land theft in the occupied West Bank.
Washington was quick to take drastic measures against Russia but resisted any kind of measures against "Israel" - this includes that in some states, laws are being regulated to criminalize boycott movements against "Israel".
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said the UNHRC must send a "resolute message" to Russia amid the Ukraine crisis. “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.
The same entity, regarding the ongoing UN human rights council investigations into Israeli violence, said the investigations are a "stain on the council’s credibility” and thus must be stopped.
Read more: US rejects Amnesty International report accusing "Israel" of apartheid
Sarah Leah Whitson, the former director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division, said there are clear comparisons one can draw in Washington's approach to the Ukrainian war.
“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.”
The president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, James Zogby, drew a parallel giving Molotov cocktails as an example: when Ukrainians throw Molotovs on the Russians, they're suddenly defenders of their territories, but when Palestinians do it, they're terrorists and militants for simply resisting Israeli occupation.
#BBC reporter published today a “where to throw a Molotov cocktail” guide amid #Ukraine crisis.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) March 5, 2022
Here's how #Twitter activists reacted. #Palestine #Russia pic.twitter.com/MDjdDuAqs2
Washington isn't alone, though: While the UK and Canada have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged Russian war crimes, the two have demanded that the ICC drop the investigation into Israeli war crimes last year on the account that Palestine is not a sovereign country - even though it is recognized by the United Nations.
British MP, Julie Elliot, who is a member of the Labour party, expressed to her parliament the perceived double standards of British foreign policy. “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.