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

Share

Hits: 917

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.

 
READ MORE!
Great Expectations for Kaunas, as City is Named 2022 “Capital of European Culture”
Congratulations to the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, once known also as Kovno (in Yiddish Kóvne) on its selection as Europe’s “Capital of European Culture” in 2022, sharing the title with Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg.The city’s leaders now have a splendid opportunity to take the moral high road in dealing with a number of ghosts from the present and the past. To start with the present, will the city’s officials now act rapidly to avoid a public perception disaster by moving this year’s neo-Nazi parade away from the city center during the February 16th Independence Day celebrations? Previous years’ marches have on occasion glorified actual Kaunas Holocaust collaborators, causing deep pain to Survivors ...
READ MORE
Are You Confused by the Middle East?
The US, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the Gulf monarchies have all in the recent past supported al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State (ISIS) with arms, money, and/or manpower. The first example of this was in 1979 when the United States began covert operations in Afghanistan, six months before the Russians arrived, promoting Islamic fundamentalism across the southern tier of the Soviet Union against “godless communism”. All the al-Qaeda/Taliban shit then followed. In addition to Afghanistan, the United States has provided support to Islamic militants in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, the Caucasus, and Syria. The United States overthrew the ...
READ MORE
Israeli Blockade of Gaza: The Only Solution is the Establishment of an Independent Palestinian State
Antisemitism needs an excuse and Netanyahu sadly provides it every day on the Israeli- Gaza border.  His heavily armed snipers have gratuitously killed over 200 unarmed Palestinians at the March of Return protest and injured over 10,000 at the border since 30 March 2018 in a sickening exhibition of state sponsored violence that has brought death and disability to those actively, and largely legitimately, demonstrating for return of their land and property. You cannot deprive 2m of their human rights, enshrined in international law, without consequences. Israel is not an island in the sky and the dispossessed Palestinian people are very ...
READ MORE
Islam: Beheadings, Decapitation and Butchering
Kosovo after June 1999: Serbian Orthodox church destroyed by Kosovo Albanian MuslimsThe horrible pictures of the atrocious ritual beheadings of ICS, the Islamic Caliphate State, on the Internet, have shown an ugly face of Western leaders, avoiding and denying what is crystal clear, as if these heinous acts are not Islamic, and continuing their march of folly as if Islam is a religion of peace and compassion; as if ICS and Qaeda are in fact not Islamic; and as if these and other Islamic terrorist organization hijacked Islam, in order to smear it and de-legitimized its presence in the West.However, ...
READ MORE
Book by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: “Global Research. Selected articles” (Second Edition), Vilnius, 2016
Book by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: Global Research. Selected articles (second edition), Vilnius: UAB “Mylida”, 2016 ISBN 978-609-408-840-7, UDK 911.3:32 So-121 Text of the printed book The book reviews by: Dr. João Carlos Graça, Lisbon School of Economics & Management, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal Prof. Dr. Krisztina Arató, Vice-director of the Institute of Political Sciences at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary Dr. Christian Rossi, Department of Social Sciences and Institutions, Cagliari University, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 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. ...
READ MORE
A Geopolitical Importance of the Mediterranean Sea Area in Global Security During and After the Cold War (1949-1989)
Preface The current war conflict in Syria and constant warfare between the Israeli state and the Palestinians which recently erupted once again in Gaza strip brought the region of the Middle East to the world attention once again. However, the Middle East is a natural-geographic continuation of the Mediterranean Sea basin and, therefore, it is a part of the broader Mediterranean geopolitical game. Nevertheless, the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of the Mediterranean Sea basin is probably of the highest level from the global perspective. An importance of the Mediterranean Sea area in geopolitical and geostrategic standpoint one can understand from the very ...
READ MORE
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
The corporate media don’t like Donald Trump. They used to like him a lot; in fact, Big Business Media are responsible for making this minor multi-millionaire into a household name. But Trump is on their hit list, nowadays, because the Republican presidential candidate insists on telling his own lies, rather than sticking to the list of official lies parroted by corporate media every minute of every day. Donald Trump told a really “HUGE” – as he would put it – lie when he claimed to have watched thousands of Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the World Trade Center ...
READ MORE
1897. Public Record Office. --- Image by © Heritage Images/Corbis
‘Blowing from a Gun’ depicted by Vasily Vereshchagin in his painting ‘Suppression of the Indian Revolt by the English’ on the rebellion of 1857. Queen Victoria’s agent bought this painting, in an attempt to suppress it. ‘Blowing from the Gun’ was a means of execution where the prisoner is tied to the muzzle of a cannon, which is then fired, popping the victim’s head about 15 meters (50 feet) into the air, apparently a sort of juvenile entertainment for the colonizers.Following colonization, along came ‘decolonization’ and what do you suppose happened with colonial borders? They mostly remained as laid down ...
READ MORE
The NATO-Aggression Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999
Was Serbia attacked in 1999? To answer that question, Milica-Hänsel Radojkovic draws on period documents (including Willy Wimmer’s letter to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). He highlights the unacceptability of the Rambouillet proposals, designed to justify a war that had already started. Fourteen years ago, after the negotiation conferences in Rambouillet and Paris between 6th and 23rd February 1999, the global media informed the general public that “the Serbian delegation did not accept the offered agreement and rather qualified it as null and void”, while indicating that allegedly the so-called Contact Group for Yugoslavia stood behind the agreement. This body consisted of ...
READ MORE
For Decades Russia Has Been Forced to Respond to NATO Expansion
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), established in 1949 on the pretext of “containing Soviet influence”, has almost doubled in size within the past two decades alone. In 1998, NATO comprised 16 member states, but with repeated expansions up to Russia’s very borders, it now contains almost 30 countries.Though seldom mentioned in mainstream discourse, NATO is a US-dominated organization, whose orders are issued from Washington and customarily obeyed. The US is by far the largest contributor to the alliance, spending more than all other member nations put together.One of the critical reasons behind NATO’s formation almost 70 years ago, was ...
READ MORE
Breaking Yugoslavia: How the US Used NATO as its Battering Ram
November 1991 is a month and year that will forever live in infamy when it comes to one of the most grievous crimes committed under the rubric of Western foreign policy, as it was on this month in this year that the break-up and destruction of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was set in train.The Arbitration Commission of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia was a body set up in 1991 by the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community (EEC) in response to the conflict that had broken out between separatists in Slovenia and Croatia and the ...
READ MORE
12 Signs America is on the Decline
When it comes to a few key indicators, Ireland, the UK, Canada and even Albania and Greece are surpassing America.America is declining, in large and important measures, yet policymakers aren’t paying attention. So argues a new academic paper, pulling together previously published data.Consider this:America’s child poverty levels are worse than in any developed country anywhere, including Greece, devastated by a euro crisis, and eastern European nations such as Poland, Lithuania and Estonia.Median adult wealth in the US ($39,000) is 27th globally, putting it behind Cyprus, Taiwan, and Ireland.Even when “life satisfaction” is measured, America ranks #12, behind Israel, Sweden and ...
READ MORE
War On Identity – The Abuse Of Kosovo Toponym
Every now and then we are being bombed by some terms in order to get used to them and accept them as something regular, accurate and correct. Such a thing happened with the toponym of Kosovo.The same method was applied in Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e with the toponym of Bosnia, which once was an Orthodox Christian medieval kingdom, meanwhile global media portrays it as it’s exclusively Bosnian Muslim land regardless the fact that history, old books speak differently. In that sense here are the facts easy to check:Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 1971Reference: EB, Edition 1971, Volume 3, page 983, Entry: Bosnia, ...
READ MORE
Germany Preparing for War Against Russia?
According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an ...
READ MORE
America’s Allies Against Russia & Iran:  Main U.S. Allies are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Israel, & Nazis
The public has been so brainwashed by Big Brother’s lies so that many people won’t believe this article unless they click onto the link wherever they happen to think that what it is alleging is false. Then, they will see the evidence, for themselves, and will recognize that they’ve been fooled about that matter, and those readers will learn something important that they didn’t know before — including that Big Brother is real, and what it actually is, and how it came to be the way it is. This is about reality, the reality behind the screen of lies. Today's Axis ...
READ MORE
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
If the danger of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian disinformation propaganda campaign out of the Pentagon and promoted by the US corporate media weren’t so serious, the effort itself might be laughable. I did laugh.In fact, listening last night to a discussion by an NPR host with a government spokesperson about the latest propaganda effort to blame the downing of a Malaysian jumbo jet over Ukraine on July 17, 2014 on Russia. After hearing the government official, whose name I didn’t catch, say that Dutch prosecutors had found “solid evidence” that it was a “Russian-made” BUK antiaircraft missile launched from “pro-Russian” rebel ...
READ MORE
The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War
Norway is a member of NATO and has close ties to the United States and Great Britain. The political, economic and bureaucratic elites are firmly integrated in transatlantic networks, a nexus of economic connections, think tanks, international institutions, media and a thousand other ties that bind. They tend to identify with the liberal wing of the empire, (i.e. the Democrats, not the Republicans), but will work with any US administration. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are selected by the Norwegian parliament, and the Committee is nominally independent.Despite being considered – and where the population considers itself – a ...
READ MORE
Kosovo Albanian Muslims in the Nazi SS
Waffen SS troops in the Albanian Battalion of the Handzar Division, wearing SS-issued Albanian skullcaps, Bosnia, 1944 SS Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler formed a Kosovo Albanian Muslim Nazi SS Division during World War II, the Skanderbeg SS Division, 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian), in 1944. He planned to form a second Kosovo Albanian Muslim SS Division but was not able to because the war ended before he could do so. The history of the Skanderbeg division has been documented and analyzed. What has rarely been analyzed, however, is the role of the Kosovo Albanian Muslim members in ...
READ MORE
Target Orthodox Church: NATO’s Eastern Crusades
Needless to say, the important and portentous story of the attempted subversion of the Orthodox Church using the intelligence and political instruments still at the disposal of the moribund post-Christian West has gone virtually unreported, uncommented, and uncondemned. It concerns the multi-front offensive currently being unleashed against the most ancient and authentic Christian communion, the Orthodox Church.The epicenter of this externally induced commotion is at this moment in Montenegro, NATO’s latest “catch” in its persistent effort to secure or at least neutralize the Balkan rear, with a view to the projected conflict with Russia. One of the major remaining targets in ...
READ MORE
Jamala’s 1944: Song for Nazi Tatars
In April-May of 1944, the Crimean Tatar battalions took part in battles against the Red Army in the Crimea. The units that were evacuated from the Crimea in June 1944, were compiled into the Tatar mountain-Jaeger three-battalion SS Regiment. A month later, the group became the first Tatar-mountain-Jaeger SS Brigade (2,500 troops) under the command of SS Standartenführer Fortenbah. On 31 December 1944, the unit was disbanded to become a part of the East Turkic branch of SS as the Crimea battle group: two infantry battalions and one hundred horses.German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein testified: "Most of the Crimean ...
READ MORE
Great Expectations for Kaunas, as City is Named 2022 “Capital of European Culture”
Are You Confused by the Middle East?
Israeli Blockade of Gaza: The Only Solution is the Establishment of an Independent Palestinian State
Islam: Beheadings, Decapitation and Butchering
Book by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: “Global Research. Selected articles” (Second Edition), Vilnius, 2016
A Geopolitical Importance of the Mediterranean Sea Area in Global Security During and After the Cold War (1949-1989)
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
The Western World’s Joke: Decolonization
The NATO-Aggression Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999
For Decades Russia Has Been Forced to Respond to NATO Expansion
Breaking Yugoslavia: How the US Used NATO as its Battering Ram
12 Signs America is on the Decline
War On Identity – The Abuse Of Kosovo Toponym
Germany Preparing for War Against Russia?
America’s Allies Against Russia & Iran: Main U.S. Allies are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Israel, & Nazis
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War
Kosovo Albanian Muslims in the Nazi SS
Target Orthodox Church: NATO’s Eastern Crusades
Jamala’s 1944: Song for Nazi Tatars
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share