US, Canada, And Ukraine Only Countries To Oppose UN Resolution Condemning Nazism
In an awkward vote at the UN both the US and Canada as well as Ukraine voted against a resolution that condemned the glorification of Nazism. Ukraine has a complicated history with Nazism especially as it has neo-Nazis within the new power structure in Kiev, but the US and Canada would seemingly have no trouble condemning the glorification of a regime they successfully fought against in World War II.
So what happened?
The resolution was brought by Russia and was undeniably initiated in response to the rise of neofascism in Ukraine, particularly the far right militias terrorizing East Ukraine, some of whom wear Nazi military symbols such as the Wolfsangel.
The glorification of Nazism by far right parties and militias in Ukraine made the politics of the resolution tough to handle for many European countries who simply abstained with the total vote for the resolution being 115 in favor, 55 abstentions, and the three previously mentioned no votes. Among the yes votes was Israel.
Ukraine’s stated explanation for voting no was that the resolution did not also condemn Stalinism. The US said the resolution had obvious political motives given the sponsor. Canada, on the other hand, had a more novel approach.
Foreign Affairs spokesperson François Lasalle told The Huffington Post Canada via email Wednesday that while Canada has a “longstanding and consistent record” of protecting the rights of all persons, the resolution contains references “counterproductive” to that goal. Lasalle said the resolution seeks to “limit freedom of expression, assembly and opinion,” but did not elaborate on those infringements…
Lasalle also said Canada did not support the resolution because it referred to the “highly politicized and anti-Semitic outcomes” of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
Did Israel miss something? Hard to imagine Israel would have voted in favor of antisemitism. The Harper government is not known for its brilliance but it usually can muster an argument better than that.
It is probably also worth revisiting the US position on this resolution that, according to the US representative, it was less about history and much more about a contemporary political issue. Is it not telling that condemning Nazism is linked to that issue? The defenders of the overthrow of President Yanukovich and far right militias now admit there are at least some neo-Nazis in the coalition, they just want to say it is a vocal minority and not representative of West Ukraine.
A good way to prove that would be to condemn Nazism.