Cherry – Picking Human Rights Policy

US Condemns China’s Uighur Policy, while Providing Billions in Foreign Aid to Israel Condemned for Apartheid Policies

palestine home demolition

The US has a long-standing double standard when it comes to condemning nations for human rights violations, including state-terrorist acts, if it considers them enemies. At the same time, the US strongly supports and in some cases provides billions in foreign aid, guaranteed loans, weapons sales, and preferential trade treatment to countries with which it has close historic ties, regardless of their human right records.

During the Trump and Biden administrations, the US made a strong case against China over its policy toward the Uighur Muslim minority, a case that both political parties agree boils down to egregious repression by the state deserving international condemnation and international sanctions of various sorts. In June 2020, President Trump used the Uighur issue in the far Western province of Xinjiang to push through legislation calling for sanctions. Almost every member of U.S. Congress voted for the sanctions bill. At the same time, the US under both Trump and Biden called on the rest of the world to use Chinese policy in Xinjiang as the raison d’ etre for a global containment policy of China.

In early May 2021, during the holy Muslim holiday of Ramadan, the Israeli government encouraged mass evictions of Palestinians. In some cases, Israeli settlers plainly told the Palestinians whose homes they were taking, that some Israeli would steal their home sooner or later. Against the background of such home evictions, an Israeli raid of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and occupied East Jerusalem became a battleground scene with Israeli police wounding more than 250 Palestinians, as of 10 May 2021, and killing several civilians, including children.

The Israeli government demanded that the US stay out of the Israeli repression of Palestinians, but a few progressive Democrats have argued that US taxpayer money should not be supporting apartheid. Breaking with the party’s progressive wing and siding with conservative Democrats and Republicans, Biden promised to stand by Israel at the UN Security Council meeting scheduled to take place on Monday, 10 May 2021.

The double-standard is obvious for the world to see how the US condemns any repression and/or human right violations taking place in China’s Xinjiang province where the Muslim minority is concentrated, while rewarding Israel with billions in economic and military assistance to repress the Palestinian Muslim minority. The irony of all this is that Biden administration remains committed to calling a global conference on democracy. Never mind the nation-wide Republican effort of voter suppression; and let’s ignore institutionalized police racism targeting blacks across the US; just as long as there is a global conference that the US leads on democracy to show the world it can still use the issue against China, Russia, Iran, among other nations on its enemy list.

If there are Democrats questioning what kind of Democracy the US has become after the Trump presidency; if some in the media are asking the same questions and even some Wall Street firms are wondering about the US drifting into the domain of authoritarianism, how much credibility would the US have at international conference on democracy? Does Biden expect Putin and XI to stay silent on US cherry-picking human rights policy? Does he really expect the Russians and the Chinese not to mention institutionalized racism in the US and Washington diplomatic and financial support of Israel’s repressive policies toward Palestinians? Just for the record, the US is not listed on any international human rights organization or public opinion polls as one of the viable democracies like those in the Scandinavian region, or even Canada and New Zealand. On the contrary, it is listed on all international public opinion polls as a militaristic country whose global military presence speaks far louder than the hollow rhetoric about a commitment to human rights either abroad or at home. Writing during the transition from the feudal/manorial system to capitalism and the rise of a new opportunistic style political leader, Nicolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince” point that symbolism was important, if not everything, still has relevance today, but should there be no limits in the politics of delusional rhetoric that becomes an integral part of hypocritical public policy?

Jon V. Kofas, Ph.D. – Retired university professor of history – author of ten academic books and two dozens scholarly articles. Specializing in International Political economy, Kofas has taught courses and written on US diplomatic history, and the roles of the World Bank and IMF in the world.



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