Palestinian Terrorists, Ukrainian heroes. Why?

Palestinian Ukrainian

Palestinian Terrorists, Ukrainian heroes. Why?

We fight our oppressors, and we get branded terrorists. Ukrainians do the same, and they get applauded for their courage.

By Mohammed Rafik Mhawesh Palestinian writer and journalist, based in Gaza city

Since the early hours of February 24, when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, the world at large has been watching the Ukrainian people’s bravery and resilience in awe.

As soon as the first Russian soldier set foot in Ukraine, thousands of civilians took up arms and joined Ukrainian troops to defend their homeland against an indisputably superior military power. Even after shells started to rain on Ukrainian cities, devastating military infrastructure and residential areas alike, brave troops and civilians supporting them made it clear that they will continue to fight for their nation’s freedom until the very end.

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In the face of this display of dignity and heroism, politicians and diplomats across the world raced each other to condemn Russia’s aggression and call on everyone to put their support behind Ukraine’s “resistance forces”.

And one of the politicians who rushed to voice his support for Ukraine and its people was Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Speaking at a brief news conference, Lapid defined the “Russian attack on Ukraine” as “a serious violation of the international order”. “Israel condemns that attack and is ready and prepared to offer humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian citizens,” he said. “Israel is a country that has experienced wars, and war is not the way to resolve conflicts.”

Many watching this war from afar likely did not pay much attention to what Lapid has said, or dismissed him as just another politician trying to score points by making empty calls for peace and solidarity.

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But for a Palestinian living under Israeli occupation and apartheid, his defence of and support for the Ukrainian people was a slap in the face – it was a blatant display of hypocrisy.

And it was not only Israel’s foreign minister who hypocritically condemned Russia’s invasion and expressed support for the Ukrainian resistance while ignoring Israel’s own actions.

What the war in Ukraine taught us, Palestinians  Al Jazeera English


Dean Nestor

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