The 24th of March is an anniversary many may have forgotten, unlike the 24th of February, which as many will remember was the date the Russian invasion of Ukraine began last year. Both these dates mark acts of unprovoked aggression* which lead to unilateral changes of territory.
Western countries, as well as Israel condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent annexations as a serious violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Very well. This might seem like a commendable position to take. And it would be if there was indeed any moral consistency behind these statements.
There is however absolutely none. You see, the NATO alliance did just that which it seeks to condemn, some 24 years ago in Serbia. NATO violated Serbia’s territorial integrity, unilaterally intervening in a war of secession by aiding the Muslim Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo and Methojia in 1999. For 78 days starting on the 24th of March 1999 NATO forces bombarded Serbia under the pretext a ‘humanitarian’ intervention. An intervention which was condemned at the time by Israel’s then Foreign minister Ariel Sharon and many other members of the Knesset.
Over 2000 civilians were killed in the bombing campaign and many more Serbs subsequently fled Kosovo. Nine years later, the separatist Albanian authorities in the province declared independence with the full coordination of the Western powers. For many years Israel refused to recognize it.
Imagine, if the Arabs of the Galilee and Negev started a war of secession and NATO decided to intervene by bombing Israel under the pretext of helping a supposedly oppressed minority until Israeli authorities withdrew from said areas after which an international protectorate would be established and a few years later would be allowed to unite with a so called state of Palestine or be given independence.
Well that is exactly what happened to Serbia.
For the following 12 years after ‘Kosovo’s’ unilateral declaration of independence, Israel refused to recognize it. Two and a half years ago, for some reason, Israel suddenly decided to change its long standing policy and recognize ‘Kosovo’. How can Israel condemn Russian annexations in Ukraine as well as ask countries not to recognize the self proclaimed state of ‘Palestine’, yet recognize ‘Kosovo’?
I urge Israel to reconsider it’s recent recognition of Kosovo in order to have a more morally consistent diplomatic stance. A truly free and sovereign state of Israel is one that has an independent minded foreign policy that does not blindly follow the West’s lead.