Discussion meeting: “From Ukraine to Palestine, occupation is a crime”


Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB, and on line. Register on eventbrite here or register to participate on line here.

Organised by the Ukraine Information Group.

The UK general election campaign is, unfortunately, likely to push the wars on both Ukraine and Palestine down the news agenda.

Already, the length of these conflicts has fuelled an acceptance in the mainstream media that continued abuse against the peoples of these oppressed nations will be inevitable for the foreseeable future.

Yet in the Middle East, there has been mounting opposition to the genocidal bombardment of Gaza. The arrest warrants applied for against the Israeli prime minister and his defence secretary by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor are based on a devastating set of allegations about the conduct of the war.

Meanwhile, the decision by Norway, Ireland and Spain to recognise the state of Palestine, to the fury of Israel’s leaders, marks a significant shift in international opinion, the fruits of relentless campaigning. .

Ukraine, on the other hand, is facing some of its toughest days since the Putin regime unleashed its murderous invasion in February 2022. Once-supportive voices are now floating solutions that would compromise Ukrainian sovereignty and reward Russia’s unprovoked aggression. This pressure may intensify with the expected shift to the right in the upcoming European elections.

Although the forces internationally claiming to support the Palestinians and the Ukrainians appear to be quite different, the two conflicts have much in common. Both Ukraine and Palestine are small nations resisting a vicious colonial power. Their needs, circumstances, and allies are different, but their causes stand on the same foundation.

Both Ukrainians and Palestinians have a right to be free, and to resist genocide and occupation through all legitimate military means. Both peoples deserve committed international solidarity.

The Western political class supports Ukraine, albeit inconsistently and insufficiently, but not Palestine. This hypocrisy is founded in racism and in the legacy of the Cold War. We reject this hypocrisy – and also reject its mirror image, articulated by some on the left, who blend Russian imperialist myths with nostalgia for the Soviet Union, as a basis for denying Ukrainians their basic rights.

Some Ukrainians see this clearly and express it keenly. A  recent Ukrainian letter of solidarity with the Palestinian people, signed by more than 300 scholars, activists and artists, said:

Our solidarity comes from a place of anger at the injustice, and a place of deep pain of knowing the devastating impacts of occupation, shelling of civil infrastructure, and humanitarian blockade from experiences in our homeland…

Watching the Israeli targeting civilian infrastructure in Gaza, the Israeli humanitarian blockade and occupation of land resonates especially painfully with us. From this place of pain of experience and solidarity, we call on our fellow Ukrainians globally and all the people to raise their voices in support of the Palestinian people and condemn the ongoing  Israeli mass ethnic cleansing…

We strongly object to equating of Western military aid to Ukraine and Israel by some politicians. Ukraine doesn’t occupy the territories of other people; instead, it fights against the Russian occupation, and therefore international assistance serves a just cause and the protection of international law. Israel has occupied and annexed Palestinian and Syrian territories, and Western aid to it confirms an unjust order and demonstrates double standards in relation to international law.

The need to call out these double standards is obvious, but the next steps might not be. We need to move to positive solidarity without borders; to forging political and practical links between diverse struggles; and to challenging the narratives that undermine this unity.

Please join us at our meeting on Tuesday 11 June to discuss the next steps.

The meeting will be held in person, and on line. Register on eventbrite here. or register to participate on line here.

Download a PDF flyer for the meeting here.

Organised by Ukraine Information Group