On December 16th, a Russia-proposed resolution was passed at the UN, condemning the “glorification of Nazism”.
This same action was undertaken back in 2019.
And the vote passed, with 51 countries that abstained, including all EU member states.
Other than that, the two countries that voted “No” were the same as in 2019 – the United States and Ukraine.
Just two countries voted against the Russian resolution on “Combating the glorification of Nazism & neo-nazism” at today’s #UNGA75.: Ukraine and the US.
Whatever about Ukraine. But America? It now hates Russia so much that it refuses to condemn Nazism just to spite Moscow? pic.twitter.com/HxNHOueYWV
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) December 16, 2020
There are various reasons to consider here.
For example, Ukraine more than likely rejected the vote because pro-Nazi and neo-Nazi groups are quite spread throughout the country, notably in the volunteer battalions which are filled to the brim with Nazis.
These groups are represented in the Ukrainian parliament, and it is not uncommon for these groups to be accused of war crimes and torture during the hot-phase of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
At the same time, these same Nazi-infested factions and groups also frequently attack or threaten opposition figures, so they government has no reason to deal with those who guarantee them staying in power.
The United States, very obviously rejected the proposal in support of Ukraine and to oppose Russia. Of course, it can’t admit that it offers any sort of support to Nazi-infested groups who are refusing to allow a peaceful resolution in Eastern Ukraine.
As such, the reason for the rejection is given as that forbidding the “glorification of Nazism” clashes with its First Amendment protection of free speech.
The United States gives the same reason every time it rejects the resolution.
On November 18th, almost exactly a month before the vote, the United States mission to the UN issued a statement on why it would reject, but still said that Nazism is “widely scorned by the American people,” but even “avowed Nazis” are protected by the First Amendment.
It also accused Russia of using the resolution to lend weight to its “disinformation narratives” about neo-Nazism in its neighboring nations. Notably, that it wasn’t true Ukraine’s volunteer battalions and other groups were filled with Nazis, and that photographs of them wearing Nazi uniforms, and being covered in tattoos of swastikas and other symbolism are not evidence enough.
“The United States joins the world community in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. We honor the valiant contributions and the heroism and sacrifice of allied nations and their service members in the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. We also join the international community in condemning the glorification of Nazism and all forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and intolerance. In fighting against the murderous tyranny of Nazism, the United States also fought for the freedom, dignity and human rights of all – including our steadfast commitment to freedom of expression.
oday, however, the United States must express opposition to this resolution, a document most notable for its thinly veiled attempts to legitimize longstanding Russian disinformation narratives denigrating neighboring nations under the cynical guise of halting Nazi glorification. The United States Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the rights of peaceful assembly and association, including by avowed Nazis, whose hatred and xenophobia are widely scorned by the American people. At the same time, we steadfastly defend the constitutional rights of those who exercise their rights to combat intolerance and express strong opposition to the odious Nazi creed and others espousing similar hatreds.”
Basically, Nazism and the Nazis are condemned, but they’re “okay” to gather and express their ideology.
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