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Friendship stops at the dollar

by Ron Holdraker
April 16, 2022

No one, except a bunch of stupid Russians think what is happening in Ukraine is humane, or justified and nothing short of war crimes.

On Thursday (4/7) the United Nations voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council - shows just where the buck stops.

The vote to oust Russia from the council was 93-24 with 58 abstentions, a significantly lower figure than the 140-plus members who supported resolutions last month to blame Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, protect civilians and call for an immediate cease-fire. A two-thirds majority was necessary for the vote to be successful.

The U.S., Europe and its democratic partners voted to suspend Russia, and some countries with a history of human rights abuses sided with Russia. 

The 24 countries that opposed Thursday’s action included China, Iran, Vietnam, Algeria, Ethiopia, much of Central Asia and Cuba, all of which had previously abstained.

“We firmly oppose the politicization of human rights issues” and “double standards,” China’s representative said. Introduced days after images circulated of dead civilians lying in the streets of the Kyiv suburb of Bucha following Russian troop withdrawals, the suspension resolution “was not drafted in an open and transparent manner,” he said, and “forces countries to choose sides.”

Most striking was Thursday’s 58 abstentions by those who declined to choose sides in a way that some said would undermine the U.N. system itself. They including all but a handful of African nations and the entire Persian Gulf. Many of the abstainers strongly condemned what was happening in Ukraine, and seemed to have little doubt about who was responsible.

Russia, in advance, sent warning letters to many countries Putin has under a financial, or some type of security constraints. Russia warned countries that a “yes” vote would be viewed as an “unfriendly gesture” and threatened consequences. Prior to the vote, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the U.N., Gennady Kuzmin, cast blame on the United States as the aggressor. 

What we’re seeing today is an attempt by the United States to maintain its dominant position and total control,” he said. “We reject the untruthful allegations against us, based on staged events and widely circulated fakes.”

Some abstainers, many with their own human rights problems, argued that the suspension vote set a bad precedent, and would make an already bad situation worse. Saudi Arabia, which supported last month’s resolution, called the Russian suspension “an escalatory step” and “a form of politicization of the work of the council … that gives certain [countries] more rights than others.”

Israel condemned Russia’s invasion as a “violation of the world order.” But Wait! In Israel, when someone is trying to tread carefully, it is said that they are “walking between the raindrops” -- trying not to get wet.

For several weeks now, Israel has been walking between the raindrops as Russia wages war on Ukraine.

Israel had tried to balance aligning itself with its biggest ally, the US while maintaining good relations with Russia, with which it has an important security relationship. Israel issued a statement that supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity but did not condemn Russia.

The European Union and several of its member states recently pressed Israel to take a stronger stand against Russia. That once staunch Israel depended on the kindness of the U.S. in the past for defensive supplies and its very existence, but when the chips are down? Due to its strategic relations with Russia and Ukraine, Israel has maintained a neutral position and limited itself to evacuating its citizens residing in Ukraine.

“Israel and Russia have had a relationship of convenience after re-establishing ties following the end of the Cold War.

CNN reported: Israel has a large Russian-speaking population. From the fall of the Soviet Union until the mid 2000s, more than one million immigrants arrived from the former Soviet Union under Israel’s “Law of Return,” which allows any Jew, or anyone with at least a Jewish grandparent, to obtain citizenship along with their families,” All this, although Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish!

It becomes clear that past foreign aid and support, when ‘push comes top shove’ it comes to doing right thing, friendship stops at the buck.

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