David K. Rees

A Double Standard is Being Applied to Israel and Ukraine

Once again a double standard is being applied to the Jewish State, Israel. The following facts are beyond dispute:

1. Fact: In 1920, following the allied victory in World War I over the axis powers, including Turkey, the League of Nations awarded the Mandate for Palestine to Great Britain.

2. Fact: Subsequently, Great Britain created a country which it called “Transjordan” whose King became the Hashemite Abdullah I. There was no question as to what the Western international border of Transjordan was: it was the The Jordan River. Today, Transjordan is officially called “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”, but is more commonly known as “Jordan”. The present King of Jordan is Abdullah II, the great grandson of Abdullah I.

3. Fact: On November 29, 1947, the United Nations, the successor to the League of Nations in administrating Mandates, created the State of Israel, to be effective on May 15, 1948. There was  no dispute as to what the internationally-recognized border between the new State of Israel and Jordan was to be: it was the Jordan River.

4. Fact: On May 15, 1948, Israel became an independent State. That day, Great Britain removed all of its troops from Israel. On the same day, Jordan’s Arab Legion, all of whose officers were British and which was headed by a British General, Sir John Glubb, crossed the Jordan River invading the new State of Israel, taking control of a huge swath of Israel, including Jerusalem’s Old City where Jews had lived for 3,000 years. Subsequently, Jordan annexed that swath as part of Jordan. The annexed portions of Israel became known as the “West Bank.”

5. Fact: In a clear example of ethic cleansing, a war crime, Jordan either killed or drove every single Jew out of the West Bank, including the Old City of Jerusalem.

6. Fact: In June 1967, Jordan, together with other countries, attempted to invade Israel. This time, Jordan attacked Israel from the West Bank. In only six days, Israel was able to win that war, driving the Jordanian troops back across the Jordan River. Since then, Israel has maintained control over the West Bank.

7. Fact: In 2022, Russia’s army under the control of its President Vladimir Putin crossed the internationally- recognized border and is attempting to take control of Ukraine. A bitter war between Ukraine and Russia is taking place. The whole world has been outraged by Putin’s actions. Numerous countries, led by the United States and the NATO countries, have provided Ukraine with military support and imposed draconian sanctions on Russia economically in order to pressure it to end its occupation of Ukraine. There have been calls for Putin to be prosecuted for war crimes.

The invasion of the Ukraine by Russia in 2022 and the invasion of Israel by the Arab Legion in 1948 are factually and morally indistinguishable. Still, the world reaction in the two cases has been completely different. The Ukrainians are viewed as valiant victims of Russian aggression. In contrast, there has been international criticism of the Jewish State recovering its own land. It is hard to imagine a more blatant example of a double standard.

About the Author
Before making Aliyah from the United States, I spent over three decades as a lawyer in the United States. My practice involved handling many civil rights cases, including women's- rights cases, in State and Federal courts. I handled numerous constitutional cases for the ACLU and argued one civil rights case in the United States Supreme Court. I chaired the Colorado Supreme Court's Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure and served on the Colorado Supreme Court's Civil Rules and Rules of Evidence Committees. Since much of my practice involved the public interest, I became interested in environmental law and worked closely with environmental organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). I was on the Rocky Mountain Board of EDF. I received an award from the Nebraska Sierra Club as a result of winning a huge environmental case that was referred to me by EDF. I also developed significant knowledge of hazardous and radioactive waste disposal. I was involved in a number of law suits concerning waste disposal, including a highly-political one in the United States Supreme Court which involved the disposal of nuclear waste. As I child I was told by my mother, a German, Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany, that Israel was a place for her and her child. When I first visited Israel many years later, I understood what she meant. My feeling of belonging in Israel caused me to make Aliyah and Israel my home. Though I am retired now, I have continued my interest in activism and the world in which I find myself.
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