Palestine: Ten Lessons from Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Prof. Hatem Bazian
4 min readMar 2, 2022
  1. The people of Ukraine are “European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed” while Palestinians are Arab and have darker complexion. Lesson one, empathy and recognition of pain and suffering is color coded and race still matters in 2022.
  2. Palestine, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria where violence is normal and death is “baked” into the culture while Ukraine is a “European city” that is modern and advanced and these things are not supposed to happen in this area. Lesson two, Western and European history is but a long series of erasures, amnesia and deeply held view of exceptionalism.
  3. Volunteering to fight in defense of the Ukraine from outside is a heroic act, which indeed it is, but volunteering to resist settler colonialism and Apartheid is framed as “terrorism” by Western powers. Lesson three, Palestinians are demonized no matter what heroic acts they underake.
  4. When an officer in the Ukraine blows himself and destroys a bridge to prevent the Russian from advancing then he is celebrated for this sacrifice. Lesson four, Palestinians are demonized for merely being Palestinians and any and all resistance are framed as terrorism.

5. Sport teams and famous sport figures can express solidarity and carry the Ukrainian flag, post messages on the electronic boards and demonstrate this on the play field, which are all very positive and players should have the right and ability to do it. However, Palestine is an exception when it comes to sport figures expressing any support for the Palestinians who are living under settler colonial occupation that structured with an embedded Apartheid system of racial-religious segregation. Lesson five, the sport administrative structure hands out fines and sanctions (red card) for anyone who expresses support for Palestine including on the occasion of fans hoisting Palestinian flags in the stands.

6. Calls for sending weapons to Ukraine so as to resist and fight Russian invasion and occupation is supported and expressed as a fundamental right for people facing such an enemy. Anyone who calls for supporting the Palestinians by sending military equipment or items to strengthen the resistance is criminalized and often imprisonment under the spacious law designation of material support…

Prof. Hatem Bazian

Executive Director, Islamophobia Studies Center. Professor, Zaytuna College, Lecturer in Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures & Asian Ameri. Studies, UC Berkeley