International Condemnation of “Occupation” Is Selective – Eugene Kontorovich (Los Angeles Times)
(dailyalert.org, Apr. 7, 2014)
A comprehensive study of post-WWII conquest finds that UN condemnation happens in well under half the cases.
In 1974, Turkey invaded northern Cyprus, and continues to occupy the northern third of the island under an unrecognized puppet regime. Cyprus is a member of NATO and the EU. This has not prevented the development of close relations, and even solicitude, from the EU toward its own occupier.
Morocco snatched the massive and resource-rich Western Sahara in 1975 without firing a shot. The Moroccan invasion was met with a UN Security Council condemnation, which Rabat shrugged off. Although no nation has recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the occupied area, Morocco remains a close ally of the U.S. and the EU.
U.S. policy now supports Moroccan proposals to retain the occupied territory under Moroccan sovereignty with local autonomy. Moreover, European companies happily help Morocco exploit Western Sahara’s resources, and recent treaties with Europe even acknowledge and engage with Moroccan control.
In 1975 North Vietnam wiped South Vietnam off the map and Indonesia seizing East Timor. All nations now recognize Hanoi’s sovereignty over all Vietnam. And despite a hostile Security Council resolution, the West quietly supported Indonesia’s Timor position for decades.
Armenia successfully conquered parts of Azerbaijan in the 1990s, a move condemned by the EU but that seems unlikely to be reversed. And Russia snagged parts of Georgia just five years ago.
Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War successes are the exception that proves the rule: It is unimaginable that 45 years from now, the EU will be demanding that Russian exports be clearly marked to indicate they did not come from “occupied Ukrainian territory.”
The writer is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, specializing in international and constitutional law.