Ukraine: Arab activists criticise Western double-standards in calling out occupation

Ukraine: Arab activists criticise Western double-standards in calling out occupation
Some social media users have criticised the US' quick condemnation of Russia in Ukraine, in light of its lack of response to occupations and annexations targeting Arab states.
2 min read
22 February, 2022
Russian flags fly over the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) after Russia's decision to recognize its independence. [Anadolu Agency via Getty

The US' prompt condemnation of Russia's effective invasion of Ukraine has drawn support but also criticism on social media, with some users highlighting Washington's "double standards" in failing to call out Israeli occupations of Arab and Palestinian land. 

US President Joe Biden condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech on Monday when he said Moscow would recognise two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent republics and ordered an invasion of the Eastern European country.

The White House said it would soon issue sanctions to prohibit new US investment, trade, and financing in the separatist regions controlled by Russian-backed militias, and now Moscow.

While many on social media condemned the move, they also pointed out the hypocrisy of the US' lack of response to the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights in Syria and continued occupation of the Palestinian West Bank.

"Let's stand with the people of Ukraine against illegal Russian occupation. And also with the occupied people of the Western Sahara, the Golan Heights, the West Bank," tweeted Mehdi Hasan, a prominent British-American political journalist.

Others mocked US diplomats for condemning Russia while actively working to improve Israel's standing in the international community, despite its occupation of several territories belonging to neighbouring states.

Map: Separatist areas in Ukraine

Some also recalled that Morocco normalised ties with Israel in December 2020 in exchange for US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, a former Spanish territory where an armed separatist movement has been fighting government forces for decades.