How the Western World Nurtures the Defiance of Ukraine, but Downgrades the Resistance of Palestine

Baqeya Khatibi, Contributor

Just a couple of months ago, Ukrainian families were creating Molotov cocktails in a step-by-step procedure. Molotov cocktails are bottles overflowing with flammable liquids, which are combined with fiery materials, resulting in a homemade grenade. As I was watching a video of this on a random news channel, I wondered to myself that if these individuals spoke broken English and wore headscarves…would the world be sitting on the edge of their seats, praying for their safety as they did for these Ukrainians? No. They wouldn’t. And they didn’t.

When countries in the Middle East, Africa, or even South Asia were under attack by western nations, no one was broadcasting their stories and tragedies on the news 24/7, kids at school weren’t bringing it up every 5 minutes, and the media wasn’t constantly posting about the oppression these people have endured. Despite this, when Ukraine was attacked by Russia, all of a sudden everyone was preaching about supporting one another. This is not just a matter of political stance, but the ethical morale countless people around the world lack. If the racism, double standards, and hypocrisy within these western countries were at least limited, then the bloodshed from countless civilians wouldn’t have been wasted.

I, by no means, am trying to belittle the struggles of the Ukrainian people, but simply showing how unfair and hypocritical some western countries are. Typically, European countries will preach about how when two countries are fighting, other countries shouldn’t intervene. An example of this is when the western media disregards Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Somalia; countries who are oppressed in copious situations due to the invasion of foreign western nations.

Two or three of my aunts live in Palestine, and they’ve told me about how a couple of mosques, such as the Al-Aqsa, were bombed during Ramadan by Israeli soldiers. They have also informed me that they constantly see the power dynamic between the Palestinian citizens and the troopers of Israel. This correlates to the relationship between Ukraine and Russian soldiers, as the Ukrainians were snatched of their rights in multiple aspects as well. The only time the news reports Palestinian affairs is when someone of Palestinian blood defies the police. These acts of ‘terrorism’ and ‘violence’ are mainly from children throwing rocks at military machines, definitely violent enough to be ruthlessly shot at.

Bella Hadid, a Dutch-Palestinian supermodel, even vouched her concern for this unfair yet unsurprising response from the American media. She further exemplifies how her comments on the Palestinian-Israeli war were taken down due to ‘policy violations’ on several platforms. Despite this obvious blockade, Bella Hadid is claimant and proud when speaking of the Anti-Middle Eastern biases in the western media. In addition to this, she further states how no matter how many job resignations that are shouted at her, she will never hesitate to speak up just because of the  ‘one tracked’ minds of some Americans.

By carrying an invariant mindset for so long, some individuals will likely find it difficult to alter their unremitting opinions. This case can be avoided when a person is at a younger age, and their opinions are pure and simple. Show them that just because someone is of a different tone or religion does not make them any less significant than others.

This isn’t an issue that needs years and years to resolve, however learning to accept and understand the racism and favoritism within these situations is a slow and steady process. The solution to this ongoing circle is more of a mental change rather than a physical one. It’s not just about reading/posting about it on social media, or hanging billboards, but it’s adopting an open mindset when reviewing struggles such as these.