Thursday, January 15, 2009

Not only but also

The Lancet may well come in for some heavy criticism in the next day or so for what some will see as a politically inflammatory editorial “blasting” Israel for its actions in Gaza.

It likely will be asked, somewhere, by somebody: Why the obsessive emphasis on Israel, when there are far worse atrocities going on in the world?

Such quizzers may be comforted to know that The Lancet only last week editorialised thus:

As the world watches the terrible events unfolding in Gaza, several other conflict zones around the globe continue to be ignored. Since Israel's air and ground offensive against the Hamas regime in Gaza captured international political and media attention, hundreds of people — 400 in one day alone — have been killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and many more lack the medical attention they so desperately need.

Major difficulties in bringing assistance to people affected by conflict is a prominent feature of the top ten most neglected humanitarian disasters, compiled annually by Médecins Sans Frontières. According to the list, massive forced civilian displacements, violence, and unmet medical needs in Somalia, which is top of the list for the third consecutive year, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Sudan, and Pakistan are some of the worst humanitarian and medical emergencies in the world.

It is a scar on society that some lives are still deemed more important than others, especially when viewed through a lens distorted by politics, economics, religion, and history...

(The whole document is accessible free upon registration.)

Well, so why all of a sudden are The Lancet editors dumping on Israel?

The explanation could be as simple as that a number with three zeroes after it is inherently impressive. That such a number has been produced by a nation which pines desperately to be accepted as part of “the West” may also have a bearing here.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home