Just so no one misinterprets my intention upfront with this cartoon, let me preface it by saying I think all life is a gift and precious. Whether in the streets of Gaza, Israel, or Iraq, people should have the security of knowing that their life won’t be taken due to the decisions and skirmishes of others. Yet, as there seems to be no shortage of wars and political unrest around the world, I am finding it interesting to note how however tragic civilians dying that there is another level of vitriol and hatred when it comes to Israel.
As the cartoon mentions we have ISIS terrorizing and killing 5,500 civilians this year alone in Iraq. And in Mosul, ISIS told Christians to leave or be killed. And yet no massive worldwide condemnation or demonstrations. Civilians continue to die in the civil war in Syria with rival countries supplying weapons to both sides. But no mass condemnation or demonstrations. Russian Separatists killing others and most likely downing a commercial airline. And while there are government sanctions being put in place against Russia for their role, again no massive demonstrations. Let’s not forget Pakistan, several African countries and whatever is happening in North Korea behind closed doors.
Now in Israel where the death toll of Palestinians in Gaza has surpassed 800, and the majority reported to be civilian, suddenly the world decries their actions over all others. Hamas will say Israel is targeting civilians. Israel says Hamas is both hiding their armory among civilians and hiding themselves among them so it is difficult to determine whether or not many of the dead are civilians or fighters. Who is more to blame is for scholars and experts greater than me.
But while the world and the UN should be outraged at all unnecessary deaths, this is what you see. #freegaza has trended on social media for three weeks while all other skirmishes listed trend for a day or so and then go away again. Thousands have marched around the world protesting Israels actions, which in many cases has led to rhetoric moving from anti-Israel to anti-Jewish sentiments with protesters chanting “Death to the Jews” and attacking Jewish businesses, synagogues and people. Even in friendly Canada, things got out of hand at a recent rally in Calgary.
But it isn’t just citizens. The ANC, Turkey, Venezuela, and Bolivia among others has condemned Israel, while staying quiet on the other mentioned conflicts. But it seems the biggest perpetrator of them all is the United Nationals Human Rights Council which decided to open an investigation into possible war crimes by Israel while omitting to look at the same for Hamas.
Violent death is and should be an outrage no matter the cause. But we need to stop picking and choosing when we decide to be outraged and by whom.