Ukraine and Palestine: It’s the hypocrisy for me

Dennis Brasky


Dear Friend,


It’s hard to draw any hope from the scenes of destruction and death in the Ukraine right now, but readers know I’m a glass half-full type so here I go.


Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the international response are an opportunity for Americans who care about Palestine. Many of us have cheered on the American sanctions. I certainly have. I want the Russian aggression to end, and refugees to be allowed to return.


And we know that the parallels to American and Israeli human rights violations are glaringly obvious. And they’re being pointed out.


Mondoweiss has always, always, called out Israeli human rights violations. Can you give today to make sure we can keep doing so?


Every time we’ve seen denunciations of attacks on Mariupol and Kiev, we think about American “shock and awe” unleashed on innocent Iraqis. Every time we hear justifications for Ukrainian resistance against a military occupation, we wonder, when did Palestinians ever get such grace from the mainstream media? And every time we see reporters nod in commiseration with Ukrainian refugees who can’t wait to get back to their homes, we think, what about the Palestinians? They’ve had this desire – and right – for more than 70 years. And when is that right ever honored in the mainstream press?


Of course the hypocrisy is bottomless. We can’t expect that to end any time soon.


What we can hope for is that the language of human rights will flourish, and the enlightened will see the glaring contradictions in U.S. foreign policy: justifying the bombings of urban neighborhoods in Gaza and Yemen while condemning the same conduct in the Ukraine. I’ve seen that these contradictions have triggered mockery and contempt for American foreign policy around the world, and in the Middle East.


And we’ve told that story every way we know how since Mondoweiss’s inception. Can you give today to help keep us at the forefront at this exciting moment when we may be able to shift the public understanding of what’s at stake?


I'm not cynical, I am hopeful - because I can't remember a time when the ideals of pluralism, human rights, and international law have been more elevated in mainstream discourse. And I certainly can't remember a time when, in essence, a global corporate and governmental BDS movement was not only contemplated, but mobilized in a matter of weeks. We cannot miss the challenge this poses to Israel's apologists, or our opportunity to make the connections.


I am hopeful because there is now a strong but embattled discourse in the west that insists on naming apartheid in Israel. That discourse wasn’t nearly so prevalent ten years ago or thirty. Now it is established and it’s here to stay. It has won the campuses, it is aimed at Capitol Hill.


We have been a proud part of that discussion going back to the Iraq war, when the United States decided to destroy Baghdad to save it. We’ve made great personal sacrifices to promote that vision of human rights over 16 years, and we’re not going away.


Even as we mourn and protest the assault on Ukrainian civilians, we can say that we are consistent in our convictions. And affirm that this awareness will turn to Israel too.


Please give today to keep that vision strong as we continue the fight!



Phil Weiss, Founder and Senior Editor


P.O. Box 442380, Detroit, MI 48244


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