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Swedish, Nature conservation freak, Passionate about Africa, Loving Peace, Politically neutral

Monday, 12 January 2009

Why the hell is Gaza the center of the world?

Gaza:
  • 850 people killed and some 3 500 injured since the Israeli attacks began on December 27.
  • Rumours say Israel is using white phosphorus (a nasty compound that catches fire if not kept constantly moist/wet) in combat.
  • Reports indicate that up to 25 % of the victims are children.
The public and media reacts: “We have to do all in our power to stop this atrocity! Everybody needs to become aware of what is going on here! More protest marches! Boycott Israel!”

Zimbabwe:
  • Some 1 000 people have died of cholera since mid December, 2 000 in total since the outbreak in August 2008.
  • Every day between 5 000-10 000 flee the desperate situation in the country.
  • Several opponents to Mugabe’s rule have been arrested and may be facing the death penalty.
The public and media reacts: “If only Mugabe were white, then we would issues some big protest against him.”

Congo (DRC):
  • Approximately 650 civilians killed in the Orientale province since December 24.
  • Victims are often hacked to death/pieces.
  • Rapes and child abductions (to serve as soldiers and/or sex slaves) are common features.
  • Ranger killed by rebels in the Virunga National Park while he was trying to protect the endangered mountain gorillas.
The public and media reacts: “Congo? Didn't Tintin go there on one of his adventures...?”

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39 comments:

Michael said...

Have a look at this video footage and you will see what Hamas realy is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OGhj43GAE

Alex said...

It really shocks and depresses me that the norwegian media is overfocusing on the Gaza incident and seem to forget everything else. We dont see huge demonstrations against the genocide in Kongo, nor do we see demonstrations to throw mugabe in Zimbabwe. The palestinian lobby in Norway is a lot stronger than the lobbies for countries that really need our help.

Rafael said...

What about Sudan? Arab muslims have for years been raping and killing tens of thousands of blacks and no one even cares.

Why do the west feel the need to protect barbaric arab culture while condemning Israel for defending itself against this barbarism?

Israel is not alone in the world. Many europeans support Israel just because we want to school with palestinian and arab immigrants and know what they are like. Regardless of what our media and the politicians say, many support Israel because we know more than well all we need to know about arabs.

Vova said...

Putin sent to Europe 50.000 chechens (muslims), enjoy. They all get asylam of course, enjoy Europe! Russia is having rest from these people. Why Western Europe is so naive, accepting all these people in their countries? Look at France, the same shit will be everywhere, in Norway too.

Anonymous said...

It is ridicouls, 1.9 million killed in the last South Sudan which went iont the 2000s.
The Congo war from 1998-2003 3.9 million killed!
Thats second only to the World War 2!

How many heard about that!

The Numbers speak for themselves, and there are several other wars which cost even more than this!

Anonymous said...

The diabolical equality of blowing babies into smithereens, blowing up UNWRA workers, killing several dozens of medical personal, blowing up the medical clinics that we funded if the wider goal can perhaps be accomplished. That a country that has this view and values and are still doing business and upholding normal diplomatic relations with us is to me extremely disturbing.

To complain about reporting going about this, when we are part of the problem with our pragmatic view when it comes to international relationships is to me reason enough for any and all cover of it.

Anonymous said...

The world loves to hate jews thats the bottom line!

Anonymous said...

I agree that norwegian media focuses on the gaza conflict to an extreme extent; it seems like an excuse not to care about the suffering in africa.

I am however not impressed with the general views on israel/palestine that you express in the blog. The situation with Israel is pretty much just like when England gave Norway to Sweden after Denmark was defeated on the French side; even though Norway wasn't even involved. In my opinion Israel have as much right to exist as the union between Norway and Sweden.

Israel exists only because the west felt guilty about the holocaust, and now lets Israel use the same discrimination as was inflicted on them in the 1930s. Europe got what it wanted; the jews out of Europe, and the palestinians have every right to be enraged over being thrown out of their own country.

Zhora said...

You guys have to live in Israel to understand the situation! Arabs live on Israel money, they work in Israel, Israel builts hospitals for them, schools, everything! And then arabs are not happy! Fucking muslim world could accomodate those few people from gaza, especially rich arabic emirates, but they don't want! They want them to fight with Israel and make fuss out of it in the whole world! Israel is the only civilisation out there, the rest is just shit countries with people who dream to escape to Norway and sit on your tax money and beat white people on Karl Johan afterwards. naive Norwegians!

thisisnothollidays said...

"Why the hell is Gaza the center of the world?"

Simple. Because there is oil in the middle east.

Olbap said...

The reason is: In gaza there are moslems. The UN and EU loves moslems, that is why we are drowning in moslems here in Europe. The black people of Zimbabwe are not moslems, therefore they are less worth, the other reason is - Mugabe is a left-wing dictator, and left-wingers don't attack their own. Black lives = 0 - Moslem lives = everything

Anonymous said...

I am a South African, and in our country 50 people are murdered every day! Where is the outcry over that? Instead the people in S.A. are protesting over a war thousands of miles away. Makes no sense does it?

Geoffrey Goines said...

>Rafael

If only the world would be so simple that we could narrow than our enemies to those worshiping the qur'an.


>thisisnothollidays

So you mean that oil in middle east is the reason why all people in western europe are running around and demonstrating against Israel?


>olbap

yes, there are stuff indicating that black people are not worth as much as muslims.

smideus said...

Our culture and our economical interests are more linked to this conflict than to others.

Anonymous said...

"the world loves to hate jews"
Thats bs!

I feel for the African countries, but as human beeing, I feel for Gaza and every other place where people are getting killed.

I blame the rich countries for all. What can a poor man/woman in Zimbabwe, Gaza, Darfur.. do??
the awnser is, nothing, accept trying to survive.

Israel and the west are responsible for Zimbabwe. Israel and the west are responsible for Gaza. They are milking the poor for their last cent, or their last breath.
Now you people write against muslims. You are just trying to find someone to blame. Blame your politicians, for beeing greedy. Blame yourselves for not doing enough. But dont blame the already poor, whereever they might be. They need a voice, and we have to be that voice.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>anonymous

Well, although the poor people in e.g. Zimbabwe can't be blamed, the rich leaders of these countries can.

as-Salam wa al-Hurriya said...

The argument is essentially flawed. By that logic, no criticism could be raised against any government, with the argument that there are always other states breaching human rights.

The fact that there are gross human rights abuses in various parts of the world doesn't make the suffering (which, by the way, didn't start in the last three weeks) in Gaza.

What is needed is international solidarity, and that the international community acts to defend the principles of the Geneva Convention. Not only for Gaza, but for the security of all peoples.

JEM, one of the Darfurian rebel movements, have stated that they "condemned the double standards of the Arab and Islamic positions in dealing with the safety and security of civilians both in Darfur and Gaza, reaffirming that the blood of civilians must be safeguarded in all wars." (source http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article29783)

A reasonable point of view, in my opinion. But if we talk about Western media, we should recall that there have been almost daily newscoverage condemning Mugabe for the past years. And against both Zimbabwe and Sudan there are sanctions, the Sudanese president has even been indicted at the ICC. Western public opinion is almost 100% against the regimes in Zimbabwe and Sudan, and thus organizing mass protests is to some extent superflous. If we had a government who could impose sanctions on Israel for war crimes and send the Israeli leadership to The Hague, then perhaps demonstrations would be less necessary.

as-Salam wa al-Hurriya said...

I posted a somewhat longer reply at my blog, http://gaza-peace-n-freedom.blogspot.com/2009/01/gaza-darfur-zimbabwe-and-rest-of-world.html

Anonymous said...

Rather than asking why these palestinian children are dying and who is to blame for putting them in harms way, the average viewer,and I have to say "STUPID WORLD" regardless of their political or ideological perspective, wants to see the killing stopped. They blame those whose weapons directly caused the deaths, rather than those who provoked the violence by deliberately targeting civilians. They forget the usual rules of morality and law.

Hamas still firing rockets at kindergartens, playgrounds and hospitals,hide behind its own civilians when firing at Israeli civilians; refuse to build bunkers for its own civilians; have the TV cameras ready to transmit every image of dead Palestinians, especially children; exaggerate the number of civilians killed by including as "children" Hamas fighters who are 16 or 17 years old and as "women," female terrorists. AND THE STUPID WORLD ESPECIALLY STUPID MEDIA BELIVE !

Anonymous said...

cant believe the level of idiocy im seeing on this blog, shocking really.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>as-Salam wa al-Hurriya

You state of course a good point that we will always forget some conflict or atrocity.
Although, I don't know if my argument is "flawed" as my objective has been to ask why there is a disproportional attention directed towards the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Furthermore, even though you say that the situation in Zimbabwe is being condemned by the rest of the West world, I still wondering if the level of condemnation is as high as when Ian Smith ruled the country.

But, if you look at my post "I wish Israel will wipe out Palestine 2.0" I do acknowledge that maybe we are not able to focus on more than one/a few conflicts at a time. And the comic in that post is a bit critizism towards myself too.

as-Salam wa al-Hurriya said...

I'd like to clarify that whilst some pro-Israeli circles use these types of arguments, I do not accuse Goines of trying to divert attention from Gaza to white-wash the Gaza aggression.

As per Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, this wasnt really constant over time. I'm not an media history expert, but I do think that Mugabe received more Western media attention (virtually 100% negative) in 2008 than Smith did in any year of governance. That said, the media landscape was different then, making comparisons difficult.

As per level of condemnation of Smith vs Mugabe, there is a difference in the relation of each govt with Western powers. When the international anti-apartheid movement took shape, the governments of Rhodesia and South Africa were allies of the Western bloc. Through intense campaigning, gradually many Western governments were pressured to distance themselves from the apartheid regimes (Israel was, unsurprisingly, one of the closest allies of the South African apartheid regime). Mugabe on the other hand, faced a unanimous opposition from Western powers, and such has been the case for the last years. In the case of apartheid, protests and campaigns were necessary to change public opinion in the Western world, in the case of Zimbabwe today any such movement is largely superflous.

That said, we urgently need an international campaign against the complicity of the European Union and western companies in fueling war and mass killings in DR Congo. There are protests from the Congolese communities around Europe, but these protests still haven't found a workable political discourse with concrete demands.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>as-Salam wa al-Hurriya

I have to say that you might be right about the Zimbabwe vs Rhodesia thing.
And you do make a good point about the valid difference in protest against Israel and against Mugabe today. Something that I need to think about a bit myself.
However, I have the say that the silence that surrounds Congo, Darfur and several of the other conflicts in Africa is as least as bad as the violence by Israel or Hamas.

Even though some of the attention for a conflict has to come from the communities in exile, I feel that for example blogers in up in northern Europe can do a significant change by perhaps divding their attention between Israel/Palestine and central Africa.

A Local Swede said...

Varför i hela helvete kan du inte hålla två saker i huvudet samtidigt? Stockar det sig?

Gosh, two bad doesn't make one good.
As one already have pointed out to you; with this kind of "logic" you may never critize Israel or any other state for that matter either given your premise.
The reports are not disproportional, on the contrary. Israel have in the ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip severely violated international law, attacked and killed UN-staff as well as infrastructure, injured and killed Red Cross personell, used illegal weapons of war on civilians etc. etc.

Why is it impossible for you to keep two thoughts in your mind at the same time? You said it yourself in your previous comment to this post. Well you know what, cynisism is never proggressive nor evolving...

Geoffrey Goines said...

>A Local Swede

I simply observe that people seem unable to engage and devote themselves to more than one cause/conflict at a time. This post clearly proves my point, as the civilian casulties in for example Zimbabwe and Congo deserve more attention from media, blogers etc that what they get at the moment.

Moreover, I am trying to be objective, and thus admit that even I may focus a bit to much on one conflict, at the expense of another.

as-Salam wa al-Hurriya said...

I posted a blog comment, which deals with the links between the Israeli state, European corporate interests and the DRC genocide, at http://gaza-peace-n-freedom.blogspot.com/2009/01/michel-hamas-is-responsible.html

Pastor Bentonit said...

>Geoffrey

"I simply observe that people seem unable to engage and devote themselves to more than one cause/conflict at a time."

Respectfully, I beg to differ (I do devpte myself etc., in real life, at least). Let aside for a moment the many hateful commenters here and pray tell us why you think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/occupation/war against terror (take your pick) should be downplayed, or even neglected?

Because frankly, you may risk making a really bad argument here. I've seen the very same posts ("Why aren't you complaining about the atrocities in ... instead?") in online discussions regarding e.g. online censorship, surveillance, and crackdowns on (illegal) filesharing. And dear Geoffrey, you do not strike me as a troll.

Yours respectfully,

/The Rev.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>Pastor Bentonit

I am not sure i fully get you.
Are you saying that people can devote themselves to more than one conflict at a time? And you taking yourself as an example?
If that is the case, I wonder whether you are a rule or an exception.

Anyway, the fact that people shout at 110 dB about Israel-Palestine but whisper at 30 dB about conflicts in e.g. Congo is the reason for my posts on this blog. I dont dislike asymmetric engagements, I just want to understand why the asymmetry is so huge in this case, AND why people seem to not be bothered by it.

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