Mondoweiss / February 28, 2022
The European and American media now celebrating Ukrainian civilians building Molotov cocktails is the same that condemns Palestinians for even picking up a stone to resist military occupation.
If you watched as much broadcast media this weekend as I did, you know that European and American reporters are universally supporting Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion. They are lauding boycott measures such as American citizens pouring vodka down sewer grates, airlines canceling flights, and athletic associations cancelling games. They celebrate the Ukrainian civilians gathering to build Molotov cocktails. They press officials on why the U.S. and Europe have not adopted stiffer sanctions against Russia. (I share these views, without being very well informed on European history.)
But for anyone who follows Palestine, what leaps out is the obvious hypocrisy of official western attitudes toward Palestinian resistance to occupation. In that case there is a long tradition of our media and politicians condemning the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and expressing outrage over Palestinians even picking up stones to resist military occupation.
The good news is that many observers are pointing out the contradiction.
Malak Silmi, digital reporter at the San Antonio Express News, tweets about the double standard, noting that journalists are fired for the mildest expression of support for Palestine.
Something i’ve been reflecting on this week as a journalist— when is it allowed to ever publicly support a cause/country/resistance group/army and remain a “credible” and “unbiased” reporter. Because ever since undergrad, I have second guessed every tweet/like/rt when it comes to Palestine even when it’s *factual information* bc of the way others have been blacklisted/fired/etc. in the journalism industry for expressing any support/thoughts on the Israeli occupation. Yet I’m seeing a lot of reporters across the country supporting the Ukrainian *army* through public donations, tweets calling those resisting Russia’s invasion/attacks as heroes, etc. And I’m honestly just perplexed because I 100% stand with the truth and recognize the injustice. happening in Ukraine, but what I know is that as a journalist I will be biased/not credible if i were to publicly do the same with Palestine or Syria— countries that have been resisting occupation/war for years.
Amy Fallas, a Ph.D. candidate in history and assistant editor of the Arab Studies journal at Georgetown, stood up for the importance of BDS in the face of occupation.
So you agree…that boycotts, divestments, and sanctions are legitimate actions against an occupying force?
And the tweet has been retweeted more than 5,000 times.
After the chief of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, backed further measures against Russia’s “barbaric actions” on Saturday, today David Cronin at Electronic Intifada called her out over the report that Israel is using skunk water to break up a Palestinian protest in occupied East Jerusalem. Cronin:
More barbaric actions @vonderleyen. I assume you are preparing an urgent package of measures against Israel.
IfNotNow has posted a video of that disgusting attack in East Jerusalem, a very routine sort of abuse by Israel. It writes:
This is not Russia attacking Ukrainians or trying to suppress protests inside Russia. These are Israeli forces spraying “skunk water” on Palestinians — including children and the elderly — for the crime of celebrating a Muslim holiday in Jerusalem.
Some are even appropriating the Palestinian struggle. BBC reports that a video on TikTok purporting to show a young Ukrainian girl confronting a Russian soldier is actually video of Ahed Tamimi raging at an Israeli soldier in Nabih Saleh in 2012 when she was 11.
A blurry video claiming to show a Ukrainian girl confronting a Russian soldier has generated 12 million views on TikTok and nearly one million views on Twitter.
But it actually shows Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi, aged 11 at the time, confronting an Israeli soldier after her older brother was arrested in 2012.
In 2017-2018, Tamimi, then 16, and her mother spent months in prison for confronting an Israeli soldier on their property– and the U.S. State Department characterized the child’s imprisonment as a human rights violation, but did nothing to stop it, say, by threatening sanctions.
Gideon Levy highlights the hypocrisy in a piece for Haaretz titled, “The Israeli Kettle and the Russian Pot.
The world opposes and is shocked by the invasion of Ukraine. It opposes and is shocked no less by Israel’s occupation. The fact that Israel thumbs its nose at decisions by the international community places it in the same category as Russia and denies it the right to criticize. The difference: Russia will apparently become a pariah and be penalized by harsh sanctions. Israel has never been punished for its aggression, and has paid no price for ignoring the decisions of the international community.
Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-2006
h/t Jennifer Loewenstein, James North, Michael Arria, Adam Horowitz.