Disputed territories – undisputed double standard

With the latest paid anti-Israel screed carried by The Los Angeles Times accusing Israel of being an “Apartheid” state, among its other alleged crimes, and the 24/7 international focus on “Occupied Territories” in The Holy Land, we present some of the other areas around the world that are considered “disputed\" or ”occupied.”
February 24, 2016

With the latest paid anti-Israel screed carried by The Los Angeles Times accusing Israel of being an “Apartheid” state, among its other alleged crimes, and the  24/7 international focus on “Occupied Territories” in The Holy Land, we present some of the other areas around the world that are considered “disputed” or ”occupied.” 

Here is a partial list of disputed/occupied territories:

*China/Japan Territorial disputes between China and Japan in the East China Sea continue, with both sides claim as their exclusive economic zone.

China/Korea The Chinese-Korean historic dispute over land that was part of the ancient kingdom of Koguryo

Korea/Japan Two rocky islets off the eastern shore of Korea, known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, are disputed by the two countries.

Japan/Russia These two nations have not yet signed a formal peace treaty to end the hostilities of World War II due to the unresolved territorial dispute over the Southern Kuriles.

India/Pakistan Kashmir is claimed by India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiris.

China/India In a dispute with deep historical roots, China does not recognize the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of Indian territory. 

India/China Aksai Chin, sometimes known as Aksayqin, is administered by China but also claimed by India.

China/Taiwan,/Malaysia/ The Philippines/Vietnam/Brunei The Spratly Islands—a group of more than 650 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands located in the South China Sea—are now claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei.

Philippines/China/Taiwan The Scarborough Shoal, near the Spratly Islands, is controlled by the Philippines, but also claimed by China and Taiwan.

Japan/China A chain of remote, energy-rich islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and as the Diaoyu Islands in China, are the subject of a territorial and maritime dispute between the two powers.

China/Taiwan The territory of Taiwan is disputed between the Taiwanese government and the People’s Republic of China.

Australia/East Timor Australia and East Timor are in a dispute over the energy-rich Timor Sea. 

China/Tibet Freedom House regularly lists Chinese-controlled Tibet as the worst-rated disputed territory for civil liberties.

Malaysia/Indonesia According to Asia Times, a series of long-standing disputes recently exploded in Asia, including a maritime dispute in the Sulawesi Sea between Malaysia and Indonesia. 

China/Vietnam/Taiwan In the South China Sea, 130 small Paracel Islands, which have been “occupied” by China since 1974, are claimed by both Vietnam and Taiwan.

Indonesia/South Moluccas The South Moluccas (Republic of the South Moluccas) claims independence, but that is disputed by Indonesia.

China/Uyghurstan East Turkestan(Uyghurstan) is a region of China where Turkic peoples want independence.

Indonesia/West Papua West Papua is disputed by the Papuans and Indonesians.

Malaysia/Philippines Sabah or Northern Borneo is disputed by Malaysia and the Philippines. 

U.S./Marshall Islands Wake Island is controlled by the U.S. but also claimed by Marshall Islands.

United Kingdom/Argentina The Falkland Islands are controlled by the United Kingdom but claimed by Argentina.

Mauritius/United Kingdom The Chagos Archipelago is administered by the British Indian Ocean Territory, but the claim is disputed Mauritius.

Russia/Ukraine Crimea, which has a long history of contention, recently was forcibly annexed by Russia from the Ukraine. Additional areas are currently under assault by Russian-backed separatists.

Russia/Georgia After a 2008 “five-day war” with Georgia, Russia now effectively controls Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two regions that once were firmly part of Georgia.

Serbia/Kosovo The Republic of Kosovo claims independence, but the claim is disputed by Serbia.

Moldova/Russia A tiny strip of land called Transdniestria, an unrecognized breakaway state that lies along Moldova's border with Ukraine, which had seceded from Moldova, is currently eyed by Moscow.

Azerbaijan/Armeniathe Armenia-backed Nagorno-Karabakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) claims to be sovereign, but Azerbaijan claims it is their territory.

Namibia/Botswana/Angola/Zambia/Zimbabwe The Caprivi Strip, sandwiched between Namibia, Botswana, Angola, and Zambia. and also very close to Zimbabwe, is much disputed. 

United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland There is no ultimate resolution of the status of Northern Island between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Spain/United Kingdom The Island of Gibraltar has been in dispute between the United Kingdom and Spain since the 1700s.

France/Comoros Islands Mayotte is ruled by France but claimed by Comoros Islands.

Syria/Turkey Hatay, a Turkish province bordering Syria, is still claimed by the Syrians.

Turkey/Republic of Cyprus Northern Cyprus is recognized by Turkey as independent, but the rest of the world considers it part of the Republic of Cyprus.

Spain/Portugal Olivenza and Táliga are still disputed by Spain and Portugal.

Syria/Kurds Syrian or Western Kurdistan is disputed between Syrians and Kurds.

Turkey/Kurds Turkish or Northern Kurdistan is disputed by Turkey and the Kurds.

Iran/Kurdistan Iranian or Eastern Kurdistan is disputed by Iran and the Kurds.

France/Madagascar/The Seychelles/ ComorosGlorioso/Glorieuses Islands (Archipel des Glorieuses) are operated by France as a nature preserve, but are also claimed by Madagascar, the Seychelles, and Comoros.

U.S/Colombia/Jamaica/Nicaragua/Honduras The U.S., Colombia, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Honduras have all claimed sovereignty over the two small isolated, and uninhabited islets collectively known as Bajo Nuevo Bank (The Petrel Islands).

U.S./Haiti Navassa Island is disputed between the U.S. and Haiti.

Denmark/NativesThe Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic is controlled by Denmark but some of the islanders want independence.

Angola/Cabinda The Republic of Cabinda claims independence but this is disputed by Angola.

Somalia Somaliland claims independence from Somalia.

Spain/Western Sahara In 1975 an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was sought on whether Western Sahara, at the time of colonization by Spain was a “territory belonging to no one” (terra nullius). The situation was similar to the West Bank, which was terra nullius or owned by no one when captured by Israel in 1967. 

Speaking of the West Bank, it turns out that only this territory that was subject to an onerous labeling policy by the European Union and more recently by the Obama Adminidtration. To the best of our knowledge, no other disputed or occupied territory–anywhere in the world—has yielded any such policy.

Double Standard? You decide …

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian, is a consultant to the Wiesenthal Center

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