- After the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden said that "Israel has a right to defend itself – full stop."
Several world leaders spoke up in condemnation of the violence as it unfolded over the weekend, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is currently fighting to prevent Russian forces from invading his country and seizing its territory. He added that “Israel’s right to self-defense is unquestionable.”
Journalists and social media users argued that there is a “double standard,” as the same world leaders who have continuously condemned Russian aggression overwhelmingly support Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
"There’s clear double standard in endorsing terrorism against civilian targets by Ukraine ... and condemning it by Palestinians," leftist British journalist Aaron Bastani wrote on X. "Those fighting our enemies = war of liberation. Those fighting our allies = terrorism."
Irish lawmaker Richard Boyd Barrett, who for years has lobbied for Palestinian support in Ireland and the European Union, also decried the “shocking double standards of Western leaders supporting Ukraine resistance but condemning Palestinian[s].”
"Palestinians [have been] hostage in [the] criminal siege of Gaza for 17 yrs. Since 1948, Palestinians [have been] victims of ethnic cleansing, murderous occupation, and apartheid," he continued. "They have every right to resist."
A viral illustration of a woman’s face has become a symbol of this "double standard" online. The drawing depicts one eye closed beside a Palestinian flag, and one eye open beside a Ukrainian flag.
A CNN interview with Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, has also gone viral online, in which he asked: “Why does the United States support Ukraine in fighting occupation – while here they support the occupier, who continues to occupy us?”
Francesca Albanese, the United Nations special rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, decried the media's “dangerous” narrative surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict, noting that she believes some coverage has ignored the “decades of oppression" against Palestinians.
"Before anything else, I am horrified by the narrative, by the discourse, because it is possible, and necessary, to stand both with the Palestinians and the Israelis without resorting to ethical relativism, to selective outrage, or worse, calls for violence," she told Al Jazeera, adding, "The militarized settler colonial occupation that Israel maintains has trapped both people."
Activists caution that Hamas and Palestinians should not be seen as one and the same. In an address to the nation Tuesday, Biden said that Hamas "does not stand for the Palestinian people's right to dignity and self-determination."
Please please stop comparing wars, stop comparing reactions to atrocities. You can show solidarity and amplify compassion without centering.— \u0422\u0435\u0442\u044f\u043d\u0430 Denford (\u0411\u0456\u0441\u0438\u043a) tetyanadenford.bsky.social (@\u0422\u0435\u0442\u044f\u043d\u0430 Denford (\u0411\u0456\u0441\u0438\u043a) tetyanadenford.bsky.social) 1696767670
Your daily reminder that you can voice your support for one victim of violence without belittling the experiences of another victim of violence. Not everything has to be compared, and Ukraine doesn\u2019t have to be dragged into every single damn conversation.— Oleksandra Povoroznyk \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Oleksandra Povoroznyk \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1696765325
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