Golan Heights, Kosovo and Crimea: A Case Study in Hypocrisy and Double Standards

Hits: 753

The recent announcement by United States President Donald Trump that the US will recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights draws attention yet again to the double standards applied by NATO and its satraps including Australia to the issues of territorial integrity, the right to self-determination, and international law. Three cases illustrate the duplicity and double standards of the Western nations. They may be reviewed chronologically.

A picture taken on July 4, 2018 from the Israeli-annexed Syrian Golan Heights shows displaced Syrians from the province of Daraa staging a protest (top L) calling for international protection, in the Syrian the village of al-Rafid, near the border fence with Israel. / AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY

The Golan Heights form part of the sovereign territory of the state of Syria. It, along with the West Bank of Palestine (then part of Jordan) and the Gaza strip were seized by Israel at the conclusion of the Six Day War between Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan in June 1967. Israel has remained in occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights ever since. It maintains a blockade on Gaza to the immense suffering of Gaza’s inhabitants.

It is well-established international law (Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949) that states may not continue to occupy territory seized as a result of war. On 22ndof November 1967 the United Nations Security Council in resolution 242 unanimously called on Israel to withdraw its forces from occupied territory. This was ignored by Israel, just as it has violated 32 United Nations resolutions since 1968, easily the single biggest offender (Turkey is second with 24 violations over the same time period).

In 1981 Israel passed the Golan Heights Law in which it purported to annex the Syrian Golan Heights. United Nations Security Council resolution 497 of 17th of December 1981 declared that purported annexation “null and void and without legal effect.”

That Israel continues to ignore its obligations under international law is not surprising. That the United States, other NATO countries, and Australia not only do not impose any sanctions on Israel for its continued violations, it does not even permit the discussion of such a possibility. Even to raise the issue invites immediate allegations of anti-Semitism and other absurdities from the immensely powerful Jewish lobby in most western states.

Trump’s announcement follows a similar declaration last year to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This is also not only a violation of international law, it is contrary to resolutions the United States itself has supported in the past (as with the Golan Heights).

Kosovo’s case is totally different but it raises a number of relevant points. Kosovo is ethnically and linguistically Albanian, although it formed part of the former Yugoslavia. There were strong elements within Kosovo that wanted independence from Yugoslavia.

That independence movement was supported by the United States. Between March and June 1999 the United States bombed Serbia to encourage the Serbs to withdraw their military forces from Kosovo. The bombing was without Security Council approval, was not within the provisions of the United Nations Charter, and was accordingly a gross violation of international law.

At the cessation of the bombing, on 10 June 1999, United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 gave Kosovo autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On the 17th February 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Yugoslavia. There was no referendum, but it is fair to say that the declaration was supported by the majority of Kosovans, especially those of Albanian ethnicity who comprised 88% of Kosovo’s population.

On 8 October 2008 the United Nations General Assembly asked the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the Kosovo declaration of Independence. Their decision was announced on 22nd July 2010. The court noted the lengthy history of unilateral declarations of independence since the 17th century, with most of them opposed by the parent state.

The court concluded that “international law contained no prohibition of declarations of independence” (paragraph 79) and that “the declaration of 17th February 2008 did not violate general international law” (paragraph 84).

The United States had a particular interest in Kosovo, including in particular being able to establish a substantial military base there (Camp Bond Steel). That base functions, inter alia, as a major transit point for Afghan heroin under the control of United States and Allied forces in Afghanistan.

No sanctions were applied to the United States for its illegal bombing of Syria, nor on Kosovo for its unilateral declaration of independence. The majority of the world’s countries now recognise Kosovo as a separate independent state.

Crimea was factually different again, but also contains several relevant points. Crimea had been part of the Russian Empire since 1783. On 18 February 1954 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a decree transferring Crimea to Ukraine. There was no referendum of the Crimean people and had there been, the overwhelming likelihood is that the transfer would have been rejected.

The transfer seems to have been the brainchild of then Soviet leader Khrushchev, himself a Ukrainian. The absence of democratic procedures is reinforced by the fact that the transfer was itself a violation of Soviet law.

In the following decades there was an uneasy relationship between the Crimeans and the Ukrainian government. Crimea enjoyed the status of being an “autonomous republic”. That uneasiness came to a head in February 2014 when the duly elected and internationally recognised government of Ukraine was overthrown in an American organized and financed coup d’état.

The new Ukrainian government was anti-Russian and frankly fascist in its orientation. Neither fact was acceptable to the Crimeans who, like the Albanians in Kosovo were overwhelmingly of one language, culture, ethnicity and identification with all things Russian.

A referendum was quickly organized (unlike Kosovo) and there was a voter turnout of 83.1%, of whom 95.5% voted in favour of reunification with Russia. The Russian Duma in turn voted to accept Crimea back into the Russian Federation.

The western media and politicians consistently use the term “annexation” to describe the reincorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation. The OED defines annexation as synonymous with “seizure, occupation, invasion, conquest, takeover, appropriation and expropriation.” None of these terms accurately describes the sequence of events in Crimea.

There is no difference in international law between what Kosovo did with the approval of the International Court of Justice and what the Crimeans did. The latter was arguably much more democratic as it followed an overwhelming referendum result in support of departure from Ukraine and rejoining with Russia.

The consequences however, have been very different. Russia has been subject to endless vilification. The Russian state and many political and business leaders have been subjected to sanctions. One has only to ask: would this have happened if Crimea had voted to leave the Russian Federation and join Ukraine? The overwhelming probability is that Crimea would have been welcomed with open arms and its people applauded for making the ‘right’ choice.

Crimea is strategically significant, which is why the British fought Russians there in the Crimean war (1853-1856), and why a prime geopolitical objective of the US interference in Ukraine was to deprive the Russians of the naval base at Sevastopol.

The history of these three episodes (Golan, Kosovo and Crimea) exemplifies the double standards and hypocrisy that characterizes western geopolitics. Trump’s latest statements on the Golan Heights only reinforce the point.


Originally published on 2019-03-28

About the author: James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

Source: New Eastern Outlook

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

 
READ MORE!
German Intelligence Service had Mafia Dossier on Kosovan President since 2005
The leak of a secret BND dossier on Hachim Thaci which reports that the newly-elected Kosovan President had links to a contract killer and was involved in the trafficking of people, arms and drugs is more confirmation that Western politicians have chosen to support Thaci in the knowledge of his criminal past.Wikileaks has leaked a secret German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) dossier on Hachim Thaci that dates back to 2005, after the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader had served the first of his two terms in office as Kosovan Prime Minister.The dossier reports that Thaci, who has recently been elected president of Kosovo, was one of the leaders of organized ...
READ MORE
The Fallacy of Calling McCain or Anyone Else a War Hero
Obit scribblers are calling John McCain a war “hero.” Well, I have to concede that unlike so many warmongering chickenhawks such as Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan and most other neocons, McCain did actually serve in the military.  But the same could be said for nearly all top Nazis including Hitler and Goering; they fought in a war and they loved war. They were destructive persons who learned nothing positive from their military experience. Of course, few of the pundits and politicians who are eulogizing McCain would wish to include Nazis in their hall of fame, nor would most of ...
READ MORE
Mother Teresa India Charity ‘Sold Babies’
A woman working at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has been arrested for allegedly selling a 14-day-old baby.Two other women employees from the centre have been detained and are being questioned about other possible cases.Police took action after the state’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) registered a complaint.The charity has not responded to BBC requests for comment.“We have found out that some other babies have also been illegally sold from the centre,” a police official told BBC Hindi’s Niraj Sinha. “We have obtained the names of the mothers of these babies and are further ...
READ MORE
Donald Franciszek Tusk: “Blood is Thicker than Water”?!
Donald Franciszek Tusk, (born 22 April 1957) is a Polish politician and historian. He has been President of the European Council since 1 December 2014. Previously he was Prime Minister of Poland (2007–2014) and a co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) party.Tusk began his public career as an activist in his home town of Gdańsk, supporting Solidarity and organizing his fellow university students. With the exception of one four-year stretch, Tusk has served in the Third Republic Sejm (parliament) continuously since its first elections in 1991. He was Vice Marshal (deputy speaker) of the Senate from 1997 ...
READ MORE
Nationalism, Ideology, and the Formation of the Nation-States Among the Yugoslavs
A map of the wanted territories of the Balkan states in 1915There are many talks about nationalism among the peoples from the former Yugoslavia during the last three decades what is quite understandable taking into consideration the post-Cold War conflicts and atrocities, as a continuation of WWII crimes based on certain political ideologies,[i] committed on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia.Historia est magistra vitaeI want to argue that there is a direct link between contemporary nationalism(s) among the Yugoslavs and their national ideologies, which are developed in the previous decades and even centuries. What happened with the Yugoslavs from 1991 to 1999 ...
READ MORE
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
Donald Trump entered military terra incognita on Thursday by launching an illegal Tomahawk missile strike on an air base in eastern Syria. Beyond the clear violation of international law, the practical results are likely to be disastrous, drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syrian quagmire. But it would be a mistake to focus all the criticism on Trump. Not only are Democrats also at fault, but a good argument could be made that they bear even greater responsibility. For years, near-total unanimity has reigned on Capitol Hill concerning America’s latest villains du jour, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Congressmen, senators, ...
READ MORE
The Pan-Slavism and Tsarist Russia’s Balkan policy
The Balkan Peninsula together with the region of South-East Europe historically has been one of the most important focal points of the Russian foreign policy, cultural influences and attempts to spread an ideology of the Orthodox solidarity and the Slavic reciprocity.[1] These ideas are common to almost all trends of the Russian public life in the past and today. After Russia lost the Great Crimean War of 1853–1856 she intensified its cultural influence in the region of the South-East Europe for the purposes of beating the Habsburg (the Roman-Catholic) rivalry and to spread an idea of the Pan-Slavism in this part ...
READ MORE
The Unspoken Crimes of World War II: The Dresden Massacre of 1945
It is 70-years anniversary of the end of the WWII – the bloodiest and most horrible war ever fought in the human history. The war that caused creation of the UN in 1945 in order to protect the world from similar events in the future – a pan-global political-security organization of which first issued legal act was the UN Charter, which inspired the 1948 Geneva Conventions’ definition of genocide. The Nüremberg and Tokyo Trials were organized as “The Last Battles” for justice as the first ever global trials for the war criminals and mass murderers including and the top-hierarchy statesmen and ...
READ MORE
Winston Churchill on the Palestinians
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]Save
READ MORE
Here’s your ‘Putin Did It!’ Survival Guide…
As the Duran reported, it was only a matter of time before the ‘Putin Did It’ (see The Duran Lexicon for more) line crept back into the news in light of a re-opened FBI investigation, following the discovery more incriminating Hillary Clinton emails. Sure enough, Howard Dean, the man who ended his own presidential campaign by acting like a crazed hooligan on stage, has said that now the FBI and Putin are on the same side.This comes days after Putin reassured the world that he really doesn’t want, need or care to meddle in the US election. Of course the usual suspects in the western ...
READ MORE
RT’s Inappropriate WWI Revisionism
Somewhere in the 20th century — it is difficult to determine precisely when, but many point to the 1990s anti-Serb craze — historical revisionism on WWI that would have been laughed out of the room in the 1920s and 1930s became widespread in the western mainstream media.Nobody should be surprised to learn this is an ailment that therefore also affects RT. The Russian-funded outlet is staffed by westerners and modeled after western news channels – and is as such frequently only marginally less wrong on numerous issues than its western counterparts. (All the more so when it comes to the little-understood Balkans.)Covering ...
READ MORE
Lithuania: War Hero or Nazi Collaborator? “General Storm” Resisted the Soviets but What did he do to the Jews?
LONDON — Seventy years after he was shot by the Soviets, the reputation of Jonas Noreika goes on trial in Lithuania next week.Noreika — a hero to many in the Baltic state for resisting the Communists’ subjugation of their country — stands accused of being a Nazi collaborator who was complicit in the Holocaust.Jonas Noreika - "General Storm"The case before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court charges the state-funded Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania with intentionally distorting the role of Noreika in the murder of Jews.It has been brought by Grant Gochin, a Lithuanian citizen living in the US, ...
READ MORE
Was Srebrenica a Hoax? Eye-Witness Account of a Former United Nations Military Observer in Bosnia
Global Research Editor’s NoteRatko Mladić has recently been convicted to life imprisonment by the the ICTY on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity while he was Chief Commander of the Army of Republika Srpska between 1992 and 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.This detailed account first published in 1998 by former UN Military Observer Carlos Martino Branco casts doubts on the decision of the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) that “genocide was committed in Srebrenica in 1995.”“…Bosnia Serb forces carried out genocide against the Bosnian Muslims (…) .Those who devise and implement genocide seek to deprive humanity of the manifold ...
READ MORE
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
Media narrative: Hateful protestors stormed the Macedonian parliament after an ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi was elected speaker for the first time. Truth: Protestors stormed the parliament because Xhaferi was declared speaker in an illegal, unconstitutional manner as part of an ongoing coup d'état. It had nothing whatsoever to do with his ethnicity. Even though Xhaferi was "elected" in an irregular manner, the US and EU have already stated they recognize his appointment. This now paves the way for ethnic Albanian parties and the smaller of two main Macedonian parties (Social Democrats) to proclaim a government without the constitutionally required go-ahead from the President of the Republic. The latter has defied ...
READ MORE
Israel Amps Up Ethnic Cleansing in Order to Further Judaize Jerusalem: The Nakba Continues
Israel will soon bar all access to a Palestinian village whose farmers have continued a tradition stretching back thousands of years of tending stone terraces to grow crops in the fertile uplands outside Jerusalem.  These farmers are among the latest victims of Israeli efforts to put in place the final pieces of a Greater Jewish Jerusalem that will require “ethnically cleansing” tens of thousands of Palestinians from a city their families have lived and worked in for generations, human rights groups have warned.  The villagers of Walaja, many of them holding Israeli papers as “residents” of Jerusalem, were warned in November that they ...
READ MORE
War Crimes Charges for the Hague Tribunal Against NATO Leaders
Accused of War Crimes: The British Prime Minister Tony Blair   WAR CRIMES CHARGES FOR THE HAGUE AGAINST THE NATO LEADERS – ONE OF THE INDICTMENTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA NOTICE OF THE EXISTENCE OF INFORMATION CONCERNING SERIOUS VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE TRIBUNAL; REQUEST THAT THE PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATE NAMED INDIVIDUALS FOR VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND PREPARE INDICTMENTS AGAINST THEM PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 18.1 AND 18.4 OF THE TRIBUNAL STATUTE. TO: Madam Justice Louise Arbour, Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Churchillplein 1, 2501 EW, The Hague, Netherlands. AND TO: President William J. ...
READ MORE
Syrian Strikes are ‘Legal’ – But Only According to the ‘Law of the Jungle’
The full extent of the damage to international peace and security caused by the US-led Syrian strikes will take some time to become clear. But its impact on the very concept of legality in international affairs is already evident. Simply put, the most powerful county in the world and its chief satellites, the UK and France, have thrown the rule of law into the trash can. The only "law" now is the law of the jungle. There is no going back. Ironically, the attack itself was claimed by its perpetrators as enforcement of legality, not of its obliteration. For example, NATO Secretary-General ...
READ MORE
America’s Top Scientists Confirm: U.S. Goal Now is to Conquer Russia
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published a study, on 1 March 2017, which opened as follows: “The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and ...
READ MORE
The Saudi Butchery in Yemen and the World’s Apathy
The cold-blooded killing of the journalist Khashoggi, however gruesome, pales compared to the brutality and gross human rights violations Saudi Arabia is committing in Yemen. The Saudis are deliberately preventing food and medicine from reaching areas where children are dying from starvation or disease. Their indiscriminate bombings are killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children, leaving whole communities in ruin. The saddest part of this unfolding tragedy is that the US and other Western powers are supplying the Saudis with the weapons they need to massacre the Yemenites, who are trapped in this proxy war between Saudi Arabia and ...
READ MORE
Remembering Muammar Qaddafi And The Great Libyan Jamahiriya
October 20th, 2017, marks the sixth anniversary of the martyrdom of Muammar  Qaddafi, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and champion of the Global South. This day also marks the sixth anniversary of the historic battle of Sirte, where Qaddafi, along with an heroic army, including his son Mutassim Billal Qaddafi, and veteran freedom fighter,  Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr, fought until their convoy was bombed by French fighter planes. Wounded and demobilized, they were captured by Qatari scavengers and executed by Al-Qaeda operativesThecourageous men of the original Free Officers’ Union, who were guides and leaders of the then 42 year-old Al-Fatah Revolution, demonstrated extraordinary revolutionary ...
READ MORE
German Intelligence Service had Mafia Dossier on Kosovan President since 2005
The Fallacy of Calling McCain or Anyone Else a War Hero
Mother Teresa India Charity ‘Sold Babies’
Donald Franciszek Tusk: “Blood is Thicker than Water”?!
Nationalism, Ideology, and the Formation of the Nation-States Among the Yugoslavs
Luring Trump into Mideast Wars
The Pan-Slavism and Tsarist Russia’s Balkan policy
The Unspoken Crimes of World War II: The Dresden Massacre of 1945
Winston Churchill on the Palestinians
Here’s your ‘Putin Did It!’ Survival Guide…
RT’s Inappropriate WWI Revisionism
Lithuania: War Hero or Nazi Collaborator? “General Storm” Resisted the Soviets but What did he do to the Jews?
Was Srebrenica a Hoax? Eye-Witness Account of a Former United Nations Military Observer in Bosnia
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
Israel Amps Up Ethnic Cleansing in Order to Further Judaize Jerusalem: The Nakba Continues
War Crimes Charges for the Hague Tribunal Against NATO Leaders
Syrian Strikes are ‘Legal’ – But Only According to the ‘Law of the Jungle’
America’s Top Scientists Confirm: U.S. Goal Now is to Conquer Russia
The Saudi Butchery in Yemen and the World’s Apathy
Remembering Muammar Qaddafi And The Great Libyan Jamahiriya

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu