As Russian troops continue their assault on Ukraine, Western governments have progressively tightened sanctions against Russian political leaders, billionaires and businesses, while publicly supporting Ukrainian popular resistance and opening their borders to refugees. Newspapers and TV channels have led with stories of Ukrainian resilience against dire odds, and Ukraine’s president recently addressed a US music awards show watched by millions.
But Palestinian leaders say such backing is conspicuously absent for people enduring life under Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its blockade of Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the “current events in Europe have shown blatant double standards”, with the US and European governments giving Ukraine military support and moral support while failing to condemn Israeli abuses against Palestinians.
Palestinian commentators say the war in Ukraine has shown there are clear inconsistencies in how people resisting aggression are supported and represented. In a recent op-ed for Al Jazeera, Gaza-based Palestinian writer Mohammed Rafik Mhawesh says that the glaring differences highlight that the “global community has been gaslighting [Palestinians] for years”.
And those discrepancies are not unique to the Palestinian experience. Professor Khaled Beydoun points out that communities in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Kashmir who are struggling against state-led violence also face a pronounced lack of international attention and solidarity.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll ask why there are inconsistencies in mainstream political and popular support to people fighting occupation.